Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate

Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate
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Congressional Democrats tore into President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE after Tuesday's presidential debate where he refused to condemn white supremacists.

The president was asked by moderator Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceAides who clashed with Giuliani intentionally gave him wrong time for Trump debate prep: book GOP says Schumer vote will fail The Hill's Morning Report - Surging COVID-19 infections loom over US, Olympics MORE whether he would "condemn white supremacists and militia groups" who have been cited by local officials around the country as contributing to violence at protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Trump initially responded, "sure," and "I'm willing to do that," but then alleged that members of far-left groups were responsible for violent protests.

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"What do you want me to call them?" Trump asked Wallace, before Biden interjected "the Proud Boys," referring to the organization characterized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

"Proud Boys, stand back and stand by," Trump responded.

Democrats seized on the exchange.

"President Trump was asked to condemn white supremacy. He refused," tweeted Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden administration stokes frustration over Canada Schumer blasts McCarthy for picking people who 'supported the big lie' for Jan. 6 panel Biden's belated filibuster decision: A pretense of principle at work MORE (D-N.Y.). "He told white supremacists to 'stand back and stand by.' President Trump is a national disgrace, and Americans will not stand for it."

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Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyEquilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — Olympics medals made of mashed up smartphones Lawmakers urge Biden to make 'bold decisions' in nuclear review OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats lay out vision for Civilian Climate Corps | Manchin to back controversial public lands nominee | White House details environmental justice plan MORE (D-Mass.) went further, tweeting: "Donald Trump won't condemn white supremacists because he is one."

"Donald Trump is a white supremacist," added Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezEx-Rep. Abby Finkenauer running for Senate in Iowa Omar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy Equilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — West Coast wildfires drive East Coast air quality alerts MORE (D-N.Y.) in a Twitter post. "People have been warning about this for a long time. They were ridiculed, called hyperbolic & radical - not bc they were wrong, but bc others couldn’t accept that our country elected a supremacist as President. This is fascism at our door."

A spokesperson for the Trump campaign did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

The president has frequently faced criticism over his handling of racial issues, which exploded in August 2017 after a rally in Charlottesville, Va., became a meeting point for white nationalist groups. The event devolved into violence, with one counterprotester killed after a crowd of pedestrians was targeted in a vehicle attack.

After the event, Trump drew widespread criticism for saying "very fine people, on both sides," attended the rally.