Washington, October 2
US President Donald Trump on Thursday condemned all kinds of white supremacists something which he was hesitant to do during the first presidential debate with his Democratic rival Joe Biden early this week.
“I’ve said it many times, and let me be clear again: I condemn the [Ku Klux Klan]. 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 told Fox News Thursday night.
The Ku Klux Klan, commonly called the KKK or the Klan, is an infamous white supremacist hate group in America.
Trump said he could say it a hundred times but it would not be enough for the “fake” media.
The President has been facing a lot of criticism for not directly condemning white supremacists during the debate.
Trump and Biden clashed over the issue of race in America in the first presidential debate wherein the Republican leader hesitated to condemn white supremacists.
During the debate in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday, moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump, “Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?” “I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not the right-wing,” Trump replied.
“I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.” When pressed further, he said: “Give me a name,” to which Biden chimed in, “Proud Boys”, referring to a far-right outfit that has been designated as a hate group by the non-profit legal advocacy organisation, Southern Poverty Law Centre.
“Proud Boys — Stand back, stand by,” Trump responded and then moved attention to the left-wing anti-fascist movement known as Antifa. “Somebody has got to do something about Antifa and the left because this isn’t a right-wing problem, this is a left-wing problem,” he said.
Biden alleged that Trump had used everything as a “dog whistle” to try to generate racist hatred and division.
During the Fox News interview, Trump appeared to be equating white supremacist groups and left-wing demonstrators who loosely identify with Antifa. Biden, he demanded, should condemn Antifa, which he described as “a horrible group of people”.
Early in the day, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that Trump had always denounced white supremacists.
“That has been answered yesterday by the President himself, the day before by the President himself on the debate stage; the president was asked this he said sure three times. Yesterday he was point-blank — blank asked, do you denounce white supremacy and he said I have always denounced any form of that,” McEnany told reporters at a White House news conference.
The US police departments have faced intense scrutiny following the shooting of several Black Americans at the hands of white police officers, sparking a movement to “defund the police” supported by many prominent Democratic lawmakers. PTI