- Proud Boys are hailing President Donald Trump’s comment for them to “stand back and stand by” during the first presidential debate.
- Multiple members of the neo-fascist group exploded online in response, posting comments like, “Standing by sir.”
- Trump addressed the group after being pressed to condemn white supremacists and right-wing violence on Tuesday evening.
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The Proud Boys, a far-right extremist orgnization that’s been designated a hate group, are celebrating online after President Donald Trump asked them to “stand back and stand by” during the first presidential debate on Tuesday night.
Members of the group praised Trump’s call-out, resharing his remarks and even embedding the words in a new graphic with their logo.
“Standing by sir,” wrote one user who identifies with the group on the social media app Telegram, according to Mike Baker, a correspondent for The New York Times.
“President Trump told the proud boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with ANTIFA…well sir! we’re ready!!,” another organizer, Joe Biggs, posted.
The Proud Boys hold anti-immigration, anti-Muslim, and misogynistic positions. They’ve been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
—Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) September 30, 2020
Trump’s remarks came during a debate segment dedicated to race, when moderator Chris Wallace asked the president, “Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?”
A back-and-forth then ensued between Trump, Wallace, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who also pushed the president on the issue.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump finally said.
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt called the statement “astonishing” in a tweet afterward.
“Trying to determine if this was an answer or an admission. @POTUS owes America an apology or an explanation. Now,” he said.