US President Donald Trump has denounced the Ku Klux Klan, white nationalists and the Proud Boys – a faction of right-wing provocateurs he was asked to condemn at a recent debate – while goading Joe Biden to do the same for Antifa.
“I’ve said it many times, and let me be clear again: I condemn the KKK, I condemn all white supremacists, I condemn the Proud Boys – I don’t know much about the Proud Boys, almost nothing, but I condemn that,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night.
But [Biden] should also condemn Antifa. Antifa is a horrible group of people – they kill people… They’re causing insurrection, they’re causing riots, but the press doesn’t go after him.
Trump came under fire during the first presidential debate on Tuesday night after moderator Chris Wallace pressed him to “condemn white supremacists.”
“What do you want to call them? Give me a name! Give me a name! Go ahead! Who do you want me to condemn?” Trump replied. When Biden jumped in with “Proud Boys,” Trump said: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by!” – but critics slammed him for declining to give a more direct answer.
Opponents have repeatedly assailed the president throughout his term for allegedly “dog whistling” to racists and “hate groups,” with Joe Biden often reviving a regularly misquoted exchange from a 2017 press conference in which Trump is alleged to have labeled white supremacists “very fine people.” A look at the transcript from the presser, however, shows the “fine people on both sides” remark was confined to those debating whether Confederate monuments should be torn down, not neo-Nazis.
Biden has also frequently accused the president of failing to condemn former Klan leader David Duke, who has voiced support for Trump, though even the establishment-friendly Politifact has deemed the charge “mostly false.” He has, in fact, explicitly disavowed Duke, the Klan and white supremacists, saying in 2017 that such groups are made up of “criminals and thugs,” and are “repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
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