Trump refuses to condemn white supremacy, urges antisemitic Proud Boys to ‘Stand by’ by the Forward

Trump refuses to condemn white supremacy, urges antisemitic Proud Boys to ‘Stand by’

Image by Getty Images

In response to a question about whether he would condemn white supremacists and militia groups and ask them to stay peaceful in the coming weeks and months, President Trump singled out the Proud Boys, a racist and antisemitic white supremacist group and told them to “stand by.”

“Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence?” asked moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News.

“Proud boys, stand back and stand by,” said Trump.

Proud Boy members on social media platforms like Telegram reacted with delight.

“Trump basically said to go fuck them up! This makes me so happy,” said a member named Joe Biggs.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, instantly condemned the response on Twitter.

The Proud Boys were founded during the 2016 presidential election and describe themselves as “Western chauvinists.” Former Proud Boys member Jason Kessler helped organize the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.

That rally came up during an earlier part of the debate.

Vice President Joe Biden recalled President Donald Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville as one of the reasons he joined the 2020 presidential race.

“Remember what those people looked like coming out of the fields carrying torches, their veins bulging, just spewing antisemitic bile and accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan,” said Biden. “A young woman got killed and they asked the president what he thought and he said there were very fine people on both sides. No president has ever said anything like that.”


Molly Boigon

Molly Boigon

Molly Boigon is an investigative reporter at the Forward. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter @MollyBoigon.

Trump’s to antisemitic Proud Boys: ‘Stand by’

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Trump refuses to condemn white supremacy, urges antisemitic Proud Boys to ‘Stand by’

Thank you!

This article has been sent!