President Trump Wednesday said he didn’t know who the right-wing extremist Proud Boys are, one day after he was pilloried for saying during Tuesday night’s debate that they should “stand back and stand by.”
Trump’s comments were interpreted, including by the Proud Boys themselves, as suggesting they should hold back and await further orders. But Trump suggested Wednesday that it was just random Trumpspeak and that he only meant for them to get out of the way of law enforcement.
“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are, if you want to give me a definition,” he told reporters at the White House. “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 their work, more and more.”
Trump repeated his contention from Tuesday night that violence in cities was being spurred by leftists.
“Now Antifa is a real problem. The problem is on the left,” he said. “And Biden refuses to talk about it. He refuses to issue the words law and order . . . He can’t say the words because he’ll lose the left. So he’s got to condemn Antifa.”