Members of the far-right U.S. group known as the Proud Boys celebrated President Donald Trump’s word’s during his debate Tuesday night with Joe Biden telling them to “stand back and stand by” - adding “I’ll tell you what, someone's gotta do something about Antifa and the left.”
After the debate, the group debuted a new logo incorporating the president’s words on Telegram, an instant messaging service, with more than 5,000 of the group’s members posting “Stand Back” and “Stand By” above and below the group’s logo.
The male-only group of neo-fascists describes themselves as “western chauvinists,” and they have been known to incite street violence.
According to New York Times correspondent Mike Baker, the group's leaders Joe Biggs and Enrique Tarrio praised the comments on messaging platform Parler.
“President Trump told the proud boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with ANTIFA…well sir! we’re ready!!” wrote Biggs.
“Trump basically said to go f*** them up! this makes me so happy,” he added.
Biden has said he decided to run for president after Trump said there were “very fine people” on both sides of a 2017 protest led by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counterprotester was killed.
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Trump, a Republican, has tried to tie incidents of violence that have accompanied largely peaceful protests to Biden and the Democrats, running on a “law and order” message that warns people won’t be safe under a Democratic president. It’s a message aimed squarely at white suburban voters, including women who voted for Trump in 2016 but may not do so again.
“What we saw was a dog whistle through a bullhorn,” California Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, said on MSNBC after the debate. “Donald Trump is not pretending to be anything other than what he is: Someone who will not condemn white supremacists.
Below is the exchange from the debate:
Wallace: "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 or the number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha, and as we've seen in Portland?"
Trump: "I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right. ... I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace."
Wallace: "Then do it, sir."
Biden: "Do it, do it. Say it."
Trump: "You want to call them. What do you want to call them? Give me a name."
Biden, referring to a right-wing group: "Proud Boys."
Trump: "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by."