President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden met in Cleveland, Ohio, Tuesday for the first of three scheduled presidential debates. It was a night filled with chaos and insults as Trump repeatedly mocked and interrupted Biden, who responded by calling Trump a clown and the worst president the nation has ever had. During one exchange, Trump refused to condemn white supremacists after being questioned by debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News.
President Donald Trump: “What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name.”
Chris Wallace: “White supremacists and right-wing” —
Joe Biden: “White supremacists.”
President Donald Trump: “Go ahead. Who would you like me to condemn?”
Joe Biden: “Proud Boys.”
Chris Wallace: “White supremacists and right-wing militia.”
Joe Biden: “The Proud Boys.”
President Donald Trump: “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, because this is not a right-wing problem.”
Joe Biden: “His own” —
President Donald Trump: “This is a left-wing” —
Joe Biden: “His own FBI director said the threat comes from white supremacists.”
President Donald Trump: “This is a left-wing problem.”
Soon after Trump said these words, the Proud Boys posted a new version of their logo with Trump’s quote: “Stand back and stand by.” The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Proud Boys as a hate group whose leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists.
During Tuesday’s debate, President Trump refused to tell his supporters not to engage in violence after the election. Trump also made false or misleading statements about climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, cases of election fraud, prescription drug prices, manufacturing jobs, Trump’s political endorsements and more. After headlines, we’ll air excerpts of the debate and get response from around the country.