The New York Times reports:
Members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group that has endorsed violence, celebrated on Tuesday night after President Trump mentioned them during the first presidential debate.
Asked whether he condemned white supremacists and military groups, Mr. Trump demurred and then said, “Proud Boys — stand back and stand by.” Within minutes, members of the group were posting in private social media channels, calling the president’s comments “historic.”
In one channel dedicated to the Proud Boys on Telegram, a private messaging app, group members called the president’s comment a tacit endorsement of their violent tactics. In another message, a member commented that the group was already seeing a spike in “new recruits.”
NBC News reports:
Trump was asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace to disavow white supremacy during a part of the debate focused on race. Wallace asked whether Trump would urge white supremacist groups that inflamed violence at nationwide protests to “stand down.”
Trump said to “give me a name” when asked to denounce a specific group, and former Vice President Joe Biden called out the Proud Boys. But Trump did not denounce any far-right or white supremacist groups, and he then pivoted to talk about antifa.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by, 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,” Trump said.
The most remarkable thing about Trump’s “stand by” statement to the “Proud Boys,” a violent, misogynistic far-right neo-fascist group, was that it was an *instruction.* He was asked to condemn them. Instead, he spoke to them with his orders. That should shock all of us.
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) September 30, 2020
The Proud Boys are ecstatic tonight about getting mentioned in the debate tonight.
“Trump basically said to go fuck them up! this makes me so happy,” writes one prominent Proud Boy. pic.twitter.com/hYA7yQVAOn
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) September 30, 2020
Chris Wallace: “Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down…”
Trump: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.” pic.twitter.com/4vrPocKzcu
— Axios (@axios) September 30, 2020
— Alex Kaplan (@AlKapDC) September 30, 2020
— The Hill (@thehill) September 30, 2020
“The commander-in-chief refused to condemn white supremacy on the global stage,” says @VanJones68 about Pres. Trump’s debate performance. “He gave a wink and a nod to a racist, Nazi, murderous organization that is now celebrating online.” #Debates2020 ￼ pic.twitter.com/5IYiJhb7i0
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) September 30, 2020
President Trump refused to condemn white supremacists and militia groups during the debate, instead telling the Proud Boys — a group labeled by the SPLC as a hate group — to “stand back and stand by.” #Debates2020https://t.co/cXK3cWdFFp
— NPR (@NPR) September 30, 2020
Proud Boys members used Trump’s “stand back & stand by” comments to create a fresh logo and messaging campaign. Minutes after the debate, the group’s main account on Parler tweeted a video of Trump’s statement with: “YES SIR, PROUD BOYS STANDING BY.” https://t.co/CWoWH3A0SK
— Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott) September 30, 2020
Described as violent, nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic & misogynistic.
— ADL (@ADL) September 30, 2020