President Trump drew heavy criticism on social media Tuesday night when he told the white nationalist group Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during a discussion of street violence in the first presidential debate with Democrat Joe Biden.
Mr. Trump was pressed by the debate moderator, Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, to condemn white supremacist groups.
“I’m willing to do anything, I want to see peace,” Mr. Trump said.
“Then do it, sir,” Mr. Wallace said.
“Give me a name,” the president said.
“White supremacists,” Mr. Wallace suggested.
“Proud Boys,” Mr. Biden added.
“OK, Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” the president said. “But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem.”
Numerous people on Twitter posted afterward that a Proud Boys logo using the president’s words was circulating on alternate social media app Telegram.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, picked up the racism-charge cudgel.
“President Trump was asked to condemn white supremacy. He refused. He told white supremacists to ‘stand back and stand by.’ President Trump is a national disgrace, and Americans will not stand for it,” he wrote on Twitter.
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.