The previous Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany made no statement denouncing the white supremacists. Instead, he referred to the president̵
“The President was asked verbatim (Wednesday): ‘White supremacy – do you condemn it?’ To which he replied, “I’ve always denounced every form of it,” said McEnany. “Those are the facts.”
But McEnany ruled out the fact that when Trump was asked on Tuesday whether he condemned white supremacists, he appeared to equate left wing violence with white supremacy.
During the debate, the president also called on the Proud Boys – a right-wing extremist group that the Anti-Defamation League describes as misogynist, Islamophobic, transphobic and against immigration – to “stand down and stand by”.
“Who should I judge?” Said Trump. The challenger Joe Biden was heard twice and said, “Proud Boys.”
“Proud guys – stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you something. I’ll tell you something. Somebody has to do something about Antifa and the left because that’s not really a problem,” Trump continued.
In contrast, the Trump administration has portrayed antifa and anarchists as the main threat to the US, equivalent to that of the KKK, and recently made an election promise to prosecute both the KKK and Antifa as terrorist organizations.
The latest draft report predicts an “heightened threat environment at least until” early next year and concludes that some US-based violent extremists have benefited from mounting social and political tensions in 2020.
CNN’s Jason Hoffman and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.