President Donald Trump urged the right wing group Proud Boys to “stand down” on Wednesday, reversing his position from Tuesday night’s debate against Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump received widespread criticism fortelling the Proud Boys group to “step back and stand by” in responding to violent protests from antifa and Black Lives Matter. Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott told reporters he believed the president “misspoke” when he made the comments and urged Trump to clarify himself.
Trump walked back the statement to reporters at the White House just before departing to Minnesota.
“I don’t know who the Proud Boys are. I mean you’ll have to give me a definition because I don’t know who they are. They have to stand down, let law enforcement do their work,” Trump told reporters. “But whoever they are, they have to stand down.” (RELATED: Biden Says Amy Coney Barrett Is A ‘Very Fine Person’)
REPORTER: There’s a lot of worry about these right-wing militias that are armed and going on the streets with weapons. Does that concern you that they go out there with their weapons and walk around in the streets?
TRUMP: Yeah, it does concern me and crime generally concerns me. pic.twitter.com/wcdUkFYQJJ
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) September 30, 2020
Debate moderator Chris Wallace struggled to control both candidates during Tuesday night’s debate in Cleveland, Ohio, leading the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) to announce certain changes to the structure of the next two debates.
The CPD says the changes will allow moderators to better control the conversation, and they may take the step of cutting out a candidate’s mic if they speak out of turn or post their allotted time.