Fox’s Kilmeade: Trump ‘ruined the biggest layup’ in debate history ‘by not condemning white supremacists’
Brian Kilmeade said President Trump “ruined the biggest layup in the history of debates by not condemning white supremacists” during Tuesday night’s presidential debate, with the “Fox & Friends” host advising Trump to “clarify that right away.”
The perspective from Kilmeade comes the day after moderator Chris Wallace directly asked the president to condemn white supremacists after Trump pressed Democratic nominee Joe Biden to condemn antifa.
“You have repeatedly criticized the vice president for not specifically calling out antifa and other left-wing extremist groups,” Wallace said to Trump. “But 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 and as we’ve seen in Portland?”
“Sure, I’m willing to do that,” Trump responded.
“Are you prepared specifically to do it?” Wallace asked.
“I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing,” Trump replied.
“But what are you saying?” Wallace followed.
“I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace,” Trump said.
“Well, do it, sir,” Wallace pressed.
“What do you want to call them? Give me a name, give me a name, go ahead, who do you want me to condemn?” Trump requested.
“White supremacists, white supremacists and right-wing militia,” Wallace noted.
Biden chimed in and noted the Proud Boys, a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump replied. “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 — this is a left-wing problem.”
“His own FBI director said unlike white supremacists, antifa is an idea not an organization,” Biden contended.
“Oh you got to be kidding me!” Trump shot back.
Kilmeade said Wednesday morning he couldn’t understand why the president “didn’t knock [the question] out of the park.”
“Donald Trump ruined the biggest layup in the history of debates by not condemning white supremacists,” the co-host said. “I don’t know if he didn’t hear it, but he’s gotta clarify that right away. Why the president didn’t just knock it out of the park, I’m not sure.”
Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray described antifa in a House Homeland Security Committee hearing as “a real thing,” while sharing that the FBI has several open cases against those who self-identify as anti-fascist activists.
“Antifa is a real thing. It’s not a fiction,” Wray said of the far-left group.
However, he also noted that it’s “more of an ideology or a movement than … an organization.”
Proud Boys, a far-right group, celebrated online Tuesday night after Trump’s remarks by introducing a new logo, “Stand back and stand by.”
“Standing by sir.” https://t.co/YVWtUC4qlC
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) September 29, 2020
The next presidential debate takes place on Oct. 15 in Miami with C-SPAN’s Steve Scully moderating.
Vice President Pence and Biden’s running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will debate one week prior in Salt Lake City. USA Today’s Susan Page will moderate.
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