Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
Sale ends in
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
save over $140
// //

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, on Sept. 29, 2020.

Julio Cortez/The Associated Press

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the “Proud Boys,” an organization identified as a hate group, should “stand down” and let law enforcement take the lead, following comments he made in the first presidential debate that were viewed as emboldening the group.

“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are,” the Republican president told reporters at the White House before leaving for a campaign event. “They have to stand down. Let law enforcement do their work.”

During his debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday, Trump was asked if he was willing to denounce “white supremacists and militia groups” and tell them to stand down amid violence that has marred anti-racism protests in some U.S. cities.

Story continues below advertisement

Trump requested a specific name, and Biden mentioned the Proud Boys, an organization that describes itself as a club of “Western chauvinists” but has been categorized as a hate group by the non-profit Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said. The comment drew wide criticism and was viewed by many to be a sign of encouragement to the group.

Republican U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, who is Black, said Trump misspoke and called on him to correct his words.

Asked on Wednesday about denouncing white supremacist groups, Trump said he had always done so.

The president has a long history of making comments that his critics view as racist or as supportive of racist groups.

In 2017, he said “both sides” were to blame for violence between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. He later sought to walk back the comments.

Trump called on Biden to condemn antifa, a largely unstructured, far-left movement whose followers broadly aim to confront those they view as authoritarian or racist.

Story continues below advertisement

A combative Donald Trump faced Joe Biden at a presidential debate marked by personal insults and Trump's repeated interruptions Tuesday night. Catch up on key moments around Trump's taxes, the handling of COVID-19 and healthcare. Reuters

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies