Proud Boys, a far-right hate group, were quick to respond after President Donald Trump gave them a shoutout during Tuesday night's presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden in Cleveland.
“Proud Boys? Stand back and stand by,” Trump said after moderator Chris Wallace asked him to condemn white supremacy.
"But I'll tell you what, somebody's gotta do something about Antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem; this is a left-wing problem.”
Shortly after the debate, members of the group took to far-right social media platforms to express their support for the President's statements.
“Trump basically said to go [expletive] them up. This makes me so happy," prominent Proud Boys organizer Joe Biggs said on Parler, a far-right social media message board.
“Stand back and stand by for when the commies start a full escalation of war and he can call on us to essentially let loose the dogs of war," a social media post from a user named LO read.
Trump's comments were met with staunch criticism from a number of prominent figures including Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“Donald Trump is a white supremacist,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
“What we saw was a dog whistle through a bullhorn. Donald Trump is not pretending to be anything other than what he is, someone who will not condemn white supremacists, someone who cannot say the phrase Black lives matter, someone who is getting rid of training of federal employees around the issue of race and the need to be aware of implicit bias,” Harris said on MSNBC after the debate.
President Donald Trump will have an opportunity to back off or double down on his comments at the next presidential debate on October 15 in Miami, Florida.
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