Two days after he utterly refused to deny white supremacists and right-wing extremism during Tuesday night’s disastrous presidential debate, President Donald Trump finally said he condemned the far-right group Proud Boys, the organization he had previously urged “resign and ready.” to stand “.
Trump himself has seen violent backlash from some Republicans and Conservative experts after appearing to wink at racist extremists during the debate. Several Republican senators urged the president to step back on what the Proud Boys were quick to celebrate online using the president’s comments as a new slogan.
After the debate, the President insisted that he knew nothing about the Proud Boys, while remaining ambiguous when asked whether he would denounce the white supremacists who support him.
The president called Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Thursday night, initially taking the opportunity to target Fox News correspondent John Roberts, who told White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany earlier that day about the president’s refusal expressly condemn white supremacists harassed.
“I saw John Roberts yell at Kayleigh,” Trump sobbed. “Kayleigh was so wonderful the way she handled it. I saw him scream, his wife – John’s wife – said, “What are you doing?” Yesterday I made a statement that most people thought was a perfect statement. I’ve said it so many times, even beyond. “
The president was referring to ABC News correspondent Kyra Phillips, who is married to Roberts. On Wednesday, Phillips asked Trump if he would oppose white supremacists and urged Trump to respond, “Any form of it must be denounced” without explicitly mentioning white supremacy.
“I’ve said it many times, let me be clear again, I condemn the KKK,” Trump said on Thursday. “I condemn all white supremacists, I condemn the Proud Boys. I don’t know much about the Proud Boys, almost nothing, but I judge that. “
He then called on his Democratic opponent Joe Biden to condemn Antifa, adding that the former vice president “doesn’t want this” and that the press is not “after him”.
However, the president’s attention soon shifted back to Roberts. Trump relied on the Fox reporter’s wife again, falsely claiming that Phillips “actually criticized her husband.”
“That was awful,” he continued. “I mean, he’s gone a little bit crazy – a little bit crazy. I saw it. I’ve seen it and [McEnany] is just an amazing person. She was molested by John Roberts. It is a terrible thing. Fox is a very different place than it used to be, Sean. “
Phillips took to Twitter to refute the president’s claims.
“Well my husband didn’t yell at anyone, including @PressSec, he doesn’t even yell at the squirrels that eat all of our bird seed,” she tweeted. “But let’s go …..”
Hannity, meanwhile, did not stand up for his colleague and did not even offer a mild defense, but plowed straight into his friendly conversation with the President.
Moments later the president offered a little more news. The president confirmed that White House close aide Hope Hicks had indeed tested positive for coronavirus, noting that he had recently been tested but had not yet gotten the results back.
“I don’t know if we are under quarantine or if we have it,” he said. “Let’s see what happens. Who knows. I spend a lot of time with Hope. The first lady too.”