“I have to say, I’ve said it many times, and let me be clear again: I condemn the KKK. I condemn all white supremacists. I condemn the Proud Boys. I don’t know much about the Proud Boys, almost nothing, but I condemn that,” Trump said during a phone interview broadcast on Fox News’ “Hannity.”
The KKK is a known white supremacist group but the Proud Boys are not.
The Proud Boys have mixed race members and their leader, Enrique Tarrio, is Afro-Cuban.
Trump faced pressure from some reporters and lawmakers to condemn the Proud Boys after he told them to “stand back and stand by” during Tuesday night’s debate.
Tarrio on Thursday night changed his username on Parler, a social media platform, to “Enrique Tarrio is disavowed.”
“We will ALWAYS do what we believe is right… And we will NEVER apologize for it,” he wrote in one post.
“It brings me great joy and pride that under the tweets of @TeamTrump that shows him condemning @TheProudBoys I see nothing but supporters asking the President to take his statement back. It’s an amazing feeling to have so much support. We do it for all of US. God bless the USA. Thank you all. We love you. Keep fighting,” he added in another.
The Proud Boys official account shared a screenshot of what the group describes as its core values, which include pro-gun rights, pro-free speech, anti-racism, and anti-drug war.
Trump told Sean Hannity that he’s repeatedly condemned white supremacy and watched White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany get badgered earlier Thursday by Fox News reporter John Roberts, who refused to acknowledge how Trump condemned white supremacists the day prior despite his wife sharing Trump’s comments on Twitter.
“Yesterday I made a statement that was, according to most was a perfect statement. But I said it so many times even beyond that. And no matter what you say it’ll never, they’ll just keep going, going, going,” Trump said.
“If I say it a hundred times it won’t be enough, because it’s fake news,” he added later.
Roberts wrote on Twitter that Trump “unequivocally condemned the KKK, all white supremacists, and the Proud Boys” during the new interview.
Trump said he believes reporters who press him on white supremacy but don’t question Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on white supremacy or the far-left Antifa network are hypocrites.
Biden helped get the 1994 crime bill passed, Trump noted.
The bill upped punishments for committing crimes, including a “three strikes” automatic lifetime prison sentence for repeat offenders.
Hillary Clinton, first lady at the time the bill was being debated and then passed into law, called some people “superpredators,” a reference some believed was to black people but Clinton said was to drug cartels.
“What hasn’t been condemned is [the] crime bill, where he talks about superpredators,” Trump said. “That was the worst thing that ever happened to the black community.”
Trump also pointed out that Biden has referred to the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), a high-level Klansman, as a friend.
“What he did was terrible, and he has to do it, but it’s a different standard. It’s total hypocrisy, it’s a disgrace. But I think the people are wise to it,” Trump said.
The Biden campaign didn’t return a request for comment.