Washington – President Trump on Tuesday unequivocally refused to condemn white superiors and far-right groups who responded. to the ongoing protests against police brutality and racial injustice, instead of blaming the “left wing” for violent clashes.
During the first presidential debate, Fox News Sunday moderator and host Chris Wallace asked Mr Trump if he was “ready tonight to condemn white leaders and militia groups and say they should back down and not add to the violence. in the number of these cities, as we saw in Kenosha and in Portland? “
In response, Mr Trump said he was “ready to do that”
“I am ready for anything. I want to see peace,” the president continued.
Against the backdrop of urging Wallace and former Vice President Joe Biden to categorically condemn the white leaders, Mr. Trump asked, “What do you want me to call them? Give me a name. Who do you want me to condemn?”
Biden then referred to the proud boys, a far-right group, while Wallace said he was a white superior.
“Proud boys,” Mr. Trump said. “Stand back and stand aside. But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, someone has to do something about Antifa and the left, because that’s not a right-wing problem.”
Following the debate on the proud boys’ Telegram channel, members praised Mr Trump’s reaction. They used “step back” and “wait” in the logo and posted videos of the debate with the caption “God. Family. Brotherhood.
Biden tweeted about the proud boys’ reaction, tweeting “this is Donald Trump’s America.”
Meanwhile, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary wrote during the debate that “step back” means “take a few steps back” and “prepare” means “prepare for action”
Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, which characterizes the Proud Boys as an extremist group, wrote after the debate that he was unsure whether Mr. Trump’s reaction to the Proud Boys was a “response or recognition.” He called on Mr Trump to apologize.
“And, in case anyone has any doubts, Proud Boys is a virulent strain of American right-wing extremism,” Greenblatt wrote. “They have a long history of violence, including in Portland over the weekend.”
In response to Mr. Trump’s remarks about Antifa, Biden called them “an idea, not an organization” and noted that FBI Director Chris Rai told Parliament’s Homeland Security Committee this month that Antifa was “more of an ideology.” or movement rather than organization. “
However, the president called it a “dangerous, radical group”.
Christopher Brito contributed to this report.