From the Wednesday press pool …
TRUMP: "I don't know who the Proud Boys are. You have to give me a definition because I really don't know who they are. All I can say is that they have to step back and let the prosecution do their job … If people see how bad this radical liberal democratic movement is and how weak it is, law enforcement will keep coming back. But I don't know who proud boys are either, but whoever they are, they have to resign and law enforcement do their job have it done. "
Somehow, "stand back and let law enforcement do its job" sounds like what everyone wishes Trump had said. But what Trump actually said was "stand by" rather than withdraw. And instead of mentioning law enforcement, Trump made it clear that he expected the Proud Boys to "do something against Antifa and the left".
It is interesting that someone who is so focused on "law and order" claims to be unfamiliar with the group they appointed the night before. After all, it is The Anti-Defamation League considers them a violent gang, and the Southern Poverty Law Center declared them a hate group. It is possible to believe that Trump overlooked these statements, but it seems certain that he should have noticed that the FBI classified the Proud Boys as a far-right group with ties to white nationalism in 2018.
Proud boys were among the "very good people" who carried torches through Charlottesville. You deliberately rioted and organized attacks in New York City. In 2019 they organized a protest in Portland in which they deliberately tried to make a violent face. This "Better Dead than Red" rally has been the subject of numerous warnings from the FBI and police and has received widespread media coverage.
This kind of coast-to-coast violence by a city-to-city group spreading violence seems to be the kind of thing that affects Trump.
REPORTER: "Mr. President, during the speech, when you said & # 39; Stand by & # 39; that could …"
TRUMP: "Just stand by. Look, law enforcement will do their job. They are going to resign, they have to resign. Everyone. Whatever group you're talking about, let law enforcement do the work. Well, Antifa is a real problem Because the problem is on the left. And Biden refuses to talk about it. "
Trump gave orders to a violent white supremacist militia to celebrate and make t-shirts that capture their leader's words. He didn't say "Stand down", but "Stand by". And everything he said to step back is … just as believable as anything else he said.