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What Trump said about the Proud Boys was unconscionable

By John Kass, Tribune Content Agency on

President Donald Trump’s failure to loudly and forcefully condemn white supremacists in his debate with Joe Biden was an unmitigated disaster that may have cost him a chance at reelection.

What Americans witnessed in the chaotic dumpster fire of a debate was this: an angry, stubborn and inarticulate Trump, putting his metaphorical foot in his own mouth, and chomping down to leave the stump twitching on the floor. Metaphorically.

Some Republicans blamed the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News. But it wasn’t Wallace who bit Trump’s foot off. Yes, Wallace did appear to run interference for Biden, which noticeably irritated Trump. Wallace may have helped to push the foot back in there, near the presidential molars, but it was Trump who bit down hard, with his own jaws, for all to see.

During the debate, Wallace asked Trump to condemn white supremacist and right-wing groups who showed up amid protests in Portland and Kenosha. Wallace didn’t mention a left-wing antifa supporter accused of shooting a Trump supporter to death in Portland.

This seemed to send Trump over the rhetorical edge.

Trump said he was willing to condemn the groups: “Sure I’m willing to do that, but I would say, I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing. If you look — I’m willing to do anything. I want peace.”

 

Biden quickly demanded that Trump denounce the far-right group Proud Boys, which has been linked to white supremacy organizations, and Trump said:

“Proud Boys. Stand back, and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what: Somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.”

Proud Boys. Stand back, and stand by?

Stand by for what? What would they “stand by” for?

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