President Trump again refused to explicitly condemn White supremacists and claimed he does not know who the Proud Boys are, one day after telling the organization to “stand back and stand by.”
When asked if he condemned White supremacists, Trump said, “I’ve always denounced any form, any form of any of that, you have to denounce,” before repeating his call for his Democratic rival Joe Biden to denounce Antifa.
Trump also claimed to not know who the Proud Boys are, before saying they should “stand down.”
“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are. You’ll have to give me a definition cause I really don’t know who they are” Trump said before departing the White House on Wednesday.
“I can only say they have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work… But again, I don’t know who Proud Boys are, but whoever they are they have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work.” Trump said as he left the White House for Minnesota.
When asked if he misspoke when he told the group to “stand by” during Tuesday night's debate, Trump said “look, law enforcement will do their work. They’re gonna stand down, they have to stand down.”
However Trump then pivoted to Antifa, saying “the problem is on the left and Biden refuses to talk about it, he refuses to issue to words law and order.”
At the debate Tuesday night, Trump said that the Proud Boys need to “stand back and stand by,” which led to members of the organization, a far-right collective that the Southern Poverty Law Center says is a hate group, to celebrate. Members of the Proud Boys have been at multiple 2020 Trump campaign rallies.
Biden did say he wants to see “law and order with justice” during the debate last night. While Trump continues to point to Antifa as a major threat, in reality, White supremacists will remain the most "persistent and lethal threat" in the United States through 2021, according to Department of Homeland Security draft documents.
Watch the moment: