When asked directly whether he wants to distance himself from white nationalists, President Donald Trump did not find a “yes”.
Chris Wallace from Fox News led the first debate between President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, which was held in Cleveland on Wednesday night.
One of the questions he asked went directly to Trump. Wallace asked if he wanted to distance himself from white nationalists and militia groups, which have been visible in American streets in recent months in connection with the racial demonstrations and riots in many parts of the country.
Trump did not answer yes.
– I would say that almost everything I see comes from the left, not the right, he said instead.
Biden to Trump: – Can you shut up, man!
Wallace gave Trump more chances to distance himself from white nationalists, but Trump responded evasively each time.
– I’m willing to do anything. I want peace.
– Then do it. Say it, challenged Wallace.
– What do you want to call them? Give me a name, Trump countered.
“White nationalists,” replied Wallace.
– Proud Boys, Joe Biden interjected.
– Proud Boys, step back and get ready. But I say this: Someone has to do something with Antifa, Trump replied.
His answer was noticed, among others, by former presidential candidate with the Democrats, Pete Buttigieg.
Journalist Mike Baker of The New York Times reports on Twitter that the group Proud Boys “is ecstatic” to have been mentioned in the presidential debate.
Baker has posted a screenshot of an online conversation between alleged Proud Boys members.
“President Trump asked the Proud Boys to stand ready because someone has to deal with Antifa. Well, sir, we’re ready! ”Writes one.
“Ready, sir,” wrote another.
According to the Times journalist, the group’s logo is already shared with the president’s phrases “Stand back” and “Stand by”.
The New York Times has also reported on the excitement of the Proud Boys camp. The newspaper writes that members call the president’s comments “historic” and report an increase in “new recruits”.
Proud Boys was banned from Twitter in August 2018 and from Facebook in October 2018. The group is referred to by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.