The Corner

Elections

Trump: The ‘Proud Boys’ Should ‘Stand Down’

In response to Tim Scott: Trump Should Correct ‘Proud Boys’ Comment 

At the White House on Wednesday, President Trump was asked by reporters about his debate comment that the extremist group known as the Proud Boys should “stand back and stand by.”

Trump said on Wednesday he doesn’t know who the Proud Boys are, but they need to “stand down, let law enforcement do their work.”

“So, Mr. President, did you misspeak when you said ‘stand by’?” one reporter asked Trump on Wednesday.

“Just ‘stand by.’ Look, law enforcement will do their work,” Trump replied. “They’re going to stand down. They have to stand down. Everybody — they have to stand — whatever group you’re talking about, let law enforcement do the work.”

Asked about denouncing white supremacists, Trump said: “I’ve always denounced any form any form of any of that, you have to denounce.”

Here’s the video:

And here’s the transcript the White House press office sent out of today’s exchange:

Q  Mr. President, can you explain what you meant last night when you said that the Proud Boys should “stand back and stand by”?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know who the Proud Boys are. I mean, you’ll have to give me a definition, because I really don’t know who they are. I can only say they have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work. Law enforcement will do the work more and more. As people see how bad this radical, liberal, Democrat movement is and how weak — the law enforcement is going to come back stronger and stronger.

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.

Q   So, Mr. President, did you misspeak when you said “stand by”? That’s my — my first question. When you said —

THE PRESIDENT: Just “stand by.” Look, law enforcement will do their work. They’re going to stand down. They have to stand down. Everybody — they have to stand — whatever group you’re talking about, let law enforcement do the work.

Now, Antifa is a real problem, because the problem is on the left and Biden refuses to talk about it. He refuses to issue the words “law and order.” And you saw that last night when he choked up. He can’t say the words because he’ll lose the rest of the left. So he’s got to condemn Antifa. Antifa is a very bad group.

Q  So, Mr. President, let me follow up: White supremacists, they clearly love you and support you. Do you welcome that?

THE PRESIDENT: I want law and order to be a very important part — it’s a very important part of my campaign. And when I say that, what I’m talking about is law enforcement has to — the police have to take care. And they should stop defunding the police like they’ve done in New York —

Q   But I’m talking about white supremacists, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: — like they’ve done in New York. I just told you.

Q  But do you denounce them? Do you denounce white supr- —

THE PRESIDENT: I’ve always denounced any form —

Q  Of white supremacy?

THE PRESIDENT: Any form — any form of any of that, you have to denounce.

But I also — and Joe Biden has to say something about Antifa. It’s not a philosophy. These are people that hit people over the head with baseball bats. He’s got to come out and he’s got to be strong, and he’s got to condemn Antifa. And it’s very important that he does that.

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