MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Many watching Tuesday’s presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden were stunned to hear the president deflecting when asked to condemn white supremacists.
The head of the group President Trump named, the Proud Boys, is based in South Florida.
Miami-Dade based Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio told Local 10′s Amy Viteri that he didn’t take Trump’s words of “stand back and stand by” as a call to action, and he tweeted that the question was in reference to white supremacy, which they are not.
“I think the most important thing was stand back,” Tarrio said. “To me, that meant let police do their job.”
By Wednesday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the debate, President Trump claimed he now isn’t familiar with the group.
“I really don’t know who they are,” Trump told reporters Wednesday. “I can only say they have to stand down. Let law enforcement do their work.”
Civil rights groups classify the Proud Boys as a hate group for affiliations with extremists. Tarrio denies hating any one group, reiterating that they are not white supremacists.
“I’m going to go ahead on the record and say I condemn white supremacist groups,” Tarrio said.