The Trump campaign on Tuesday told Fox News that President Trump has “continuously denounced” white supremacists, including during the first presidential debate, when they say he did so “twice.”
Trump campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh, in an interview with Fox News, said that the president has “repeatedly, over the course of years now, denounced white supremacists and has been consistent in doing that.”
During Tuesday night’s debate, “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace, who moderated the first showdown between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, asked the president if he was willing to denounce white supremacists.
The president responded, “Sure, I’m willing to do that, but I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not the right-wing,” Trump said. “I am willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”
The president’s response sparked a shouting match with the former vice president.
“Who do you want me to condemn?” Trump said. “What do you want to call them? Give me a name.”
Biden interrupted and said: “Proud Boys.”
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said. “But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody has got to do something about Antifa and the left. Because this is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem.”
The Proud Boys have been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and have held multiple events in Portland, alongside other right-wing groups. The gatherings have sparked some violent clashes with left-wing counter-demonstrators.
Biden interrupted, calling Antifa “an idea, not an organization.”
Trump fired back saying, “Oh you’ve got to be kidding.”
“When a bat hits you over the head that’s not an idea,” Trump said. “Antifa is bad.”
The Proud Boys, after the debate, reacted to the president’s comments, communicating over Telegram, saying: “F*** it, let’s go bak to Portland.”
But the Trump campaign slammed the question by Wallace, in general.
“The media keeps asking him to denounce white supremacy, and he keeps doing it,” Murtaugh told Fox News. “At a certain point, they are going to have to take yes for an answer.”
Murtaugh doubled down, saying that the president has denounced white supremacy “over and over and over again.”
“Just last week, the president declared the KKK a terrorist organization and it cannot be any more clear than that,” Murtaugh said, pointing to the president’s Black America Plan, also known as the “Platinum Plan.”
The “Platinum Plan” states that it will “prosecute the KKK and ANTIFA as terrorist organizations and make lynching a national hate crime.”
“Joe Biden has not done that in 47 years in Washington, including the eight years as vice president,” Murtaugh said. “Joe Biden has never done that.”
The plan also pledges to increase access to capital in Black communities by nearly $500 billion and vows to make Juneteenth a national holiday.