White House says there’s no need to clarify Trump’s response to white supremacists debate question

President Trump’s team doesn’t think he did anything wrong at Tuesday’s night’s debate, especially when it came to denouncing white supremacists.

Trump’s refusal to denounce far-right extremists led even Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade to declare the president blew “the biggest layup in the history of debates” and ask Trump to “clear it up.” But when Fox News tried to do just that with White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah on Wednesday morning, Farah said “I don’t think that there’s anything to clarify. He told them to stand back.”

Trump campaign press secretary Hogan Gidley also didn’t think there was anything wrong with Trump telling the far-right Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.” “He wants them to get out of the way,” Gidley said.

But Proud Boy members didn’t take it that way. As NBC News reports, the group’s chat rooms and social media accounts lit up with praise for Trump after his refusal to denounce them, and some even turned Trump’s words into a meme and rallying cry, calling Trump the “general of the Proud Boys.”

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White House says there isn’t ‘anything to clarify’ on Proud Boys

  • The White House is making no effort to spin or clear up President Donald Trump’s comments on the Proud Boys during Tuesday night’s debate.
  • In an interview on Fox News, White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah was pressed by host Sandra Smith on what Trump meant by “stand by.”
  • “I don’t think that there’s anything to clarify,” Farah said.
  • Shortly after Trump said, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” the far-right extremist group began using it as a recruiting tool.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Despite substantial blowback and calls from Republicans for President Donald Trump to clear up his comments on the Proud Boys hate group during Tuesday night’s debate, the White House is doubling down.

Fox News host Sandra Smith pressed White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah on the issue Wednesday.

“The president saying, ‘Proud Boys, stand back and stand by’ — does the White House or the president want to clarify or explain what he meant by that?” Smith asked. “Because they’re celebrating it, the group.”

“I don’t think there’s anything to clarify,” Farah replied. “He’s told them to stand back.”

She added: “This president has surged federal resources when violent crime warrants it in cities. He is leading. He doesn’t need any sort of vigilante-ism.”

Following the usual line of attack from Trump, Farah pivoted to blaming Democrats and the left for violence in cities by not accepting the president’s calls for federal law enforcement to go in and use more force than local officials.

“What we’ve called for is Democrat mayors and Democrat governors to call up the resources we’re prepared to make available,” she said.

Meanwhile, Kate Bedingfield, the communications director for former Vice President Joe Biden, told a Daily Beast reporter that Trump squandered “multiple opportunities to say he disowns white supremacy.”

After being thrust into the national spotlight, the Proud Boys seized Trump’s remarks to begin a recruitment drive. 

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White House Chief of Staff Seeks to Clarify Trump’s Peaceful Transition of Power Comments

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Friday sought to clarify President Donald Trump’s recent comments about whether he will commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he makes his way to board Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on September 24, 2020. On Friday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sought to clarify comments the president has recently made about whether or not he will commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election on November 3.


© MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he makes his way to board Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on September 24, 2020. On Friday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sought to clarify comments the president has recently made about whether or not he will commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election on November 3.

“I think he commits to a peaceful transfer as long as it is a fair election,” Meadows said Friday morning during an interview with CBS This Morning.

The president has frequently raised concerns, without evidence, about widespread voter fraud and has cast doubt on the dependability of mail-in voting, which Americans are expected to use more this year than ever before because of the continuing threats posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked Wednesday if he would agree to a peaceful transition of power if Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins the election, Trump told reporters at a White House press briefing, “We’re going to have to see what happens.” He cited a general concern over ballots and added, “There won’t be a transfer, frankly; there’ll be a continuation.”

Trump made similar comments to his supporters and the press over the summer. He told his supporters during a campaign rally last month that a “rigged election” was the only way he would lose, and he told Fox News in July that he would “have to see” what the voting results are before he accepts them.

Meadows discussed the “very troubling” findings, which the FBI announced earlier this week, about nine mail-in ballots cast for Trump by members of the military that were found discarded in Pennsylvania. He also brought up reports in several states of problematic ballots that were thrown out during the primary elections. Investigations into the problematic ballots have revealed problems ranging from election officials receiving them after the deadline to voter signatures not matching those kept on file.

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“What we want to make sure is that every vote counts—but that only the vote from one voter to the ballot box is what gets counted, and nothing less, nothing more. That’s what he’s referring to; that’s what we’re committed to,” Meadows said.

“Should we allow votes to come in and be counted a week after November 3? I don’t believe so. That’s what we’re talking about. Let’s make sure that the systems that we’ve had in place for decades—indeed centuries—are the same systems we have in place now.”

Trump’s Democratic rival during the 2016 election, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, warned Biden against quickly conceding the race during

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