Proud Boys chairman condemns white supremacists, says Trump’s message of ‘stand by’ wasn’t call to action

Miami-Dade based Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio says he didn’t take President Trump’s words of “stand back and stand by” as a call to action.

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.

About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.