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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 John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE after Tuesday's presidential debate where he refused to condemn white supremacists.

The president was asked by moderator Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceTrump adviser says president will give Biden 'a little bit more room to explain himself' at next debate Buttigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Miller on whether Trump regrets 'Lock her up' chant about Whitmer: 'Not at all' 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 SchumerOcasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts The 2016 and 2020 Senate votes are about the same thing: constitutionalist judges Pelosi and Trump go a full year without speaking 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 MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyTime to honor the 'ghosts' of WWII OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Federal officials press concerns about proposed mine near Georgia swamp, documents show | Trump falsely claims Green New Deal calls for 'tiny little windows' | Interior appeals migratory bird ruling Trump falsely claims Green New Deal calls for 'tiny little windows' 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-CortezOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA may violate courts with new rule extending life of unlined coal ash ponds | Trump reverses course, approving assistance for California wildfires | Climate change, national security among topics for final Trump-Biden debate Biden distances himself from Green New Deal during town hall Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts 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.