The Trump campaign has released a video of the 38 times the President has denounced white nationalism.
Donald Trump’s disavowals date back to 2000 and include statements made during his 2016 campaign, as well as in the recent debates against Joe Biden.
But in the first presidential debate, Trump last month provoked fury for a fumbled condemnation of Proud Boys – an alleged white supremacist group – who he told to ‘stand back and stand by.’
Biden claims the reason he decided to run against Trump was because of his infamous line that there were ‘very fine people’ on both sides after a white supremacist killed a woman in Charlottesville in 2017 during violence between right-wingers and counter protesters.
President Donald Trump speaks during the first 2020 presidential campaign debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks as he participates in the first 2020 presidential campaign debate with U.S. President Donald Trump in Cleveland, Ohio
Since then there has been further racial violence in the US, with the killing of George Floyd in May setting off chaos across cities during which Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter rioters have died.
Despite Trump’s claim that he’s done ‘more for black people than any other president’ (with the ‘possible exception of Abraham Lincoln’), Biden says Trump is ‘one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history.’
Speaking to Fox News after the release of the campaign video, a Trump staffer said: ‘President Trump wants to prosecute the KKK as a terrorist organization and has condemned White supremacy at least 38 times. 38 times!’
He added: ‘The Biden campaign continues to sow division and inflame racial tension by spreading this false narrative. Enough is enough.’
The campaign staffer called it a ‘dead issue’ and that anyone who continued to raise it was ‘smearing the president.’
Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News who asked the president to condemn white nationalism during the debate
US President Donald J. Trump (L) and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (R) participate with Moderator Chris Wallace (C) in the first 2020 presidential election debate at Samson Pavilion in Cleveland, Ohio
The President was rebuked for a press conference he gave after the Charlottesville attack in 2017.
Trump said that there were good people on ‘both sides’ after violence broke out at a ‘Unite the Right’ between right-wingers and counter-protesters.
It ended in tragedy when a white supremacist drove a car into the crowd, killing one and injuring 19 others.
The issue was reignited by debate moderator Chris Wallace when he asked Trump to condemn white nationalists after the president barracked Biden for not addressing the far-left Antifa group.
‘Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha,’ Wallace said.
‘Sure, I’m willing to do that.’ Trump replied.
Wallace asked him if he would specifically state it.
‘I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing not from the right wing.’ The president told him, before adding: ‘I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.’
‘Well, do it, sir.’ Wallace said, before Vice President Biden chimed in with: ‘Say it, do it, say it.’
Trump then asked them to ‘give me a name, go ahead who do you want me to condemn.’
A protester carries a Proud Boys banner in Salem, Oregon, in September
A person holds a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign as a heavy cloud of tear gas and smoke rises after being deployed by Seattle police in June
Biden suggested ‘Proud Boys’ and so Trump replied: ‘Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right wing problem.’
Democrats focused on this after the debate, saying that Trump had failed to offer a non-qualified disavowal and that ‘stand back and stand by’ was ambiguous.
Biden has previously accused Trump of assigning ‘a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.’
Proud Boys is a far-right organization that admits only men as members and promotes and engages in political violence.
The group believes white men and western culture are under siege and one of its co-founders recorded a video titled ’10 things I hate about the Jews.’