President Trump refused to condemn white supremacists during the first of three scheduled presidential debates with Joe Biden. When pressed by moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News to disavow far-right extremism, Trump name-checked the Proud Boys and told them to “stand back and stand by,” words widely denounced as a tacit endorsement of the violent, white supremacist organization classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. The Proud Boys almost immediately responded by changing its logo online to include the Trump quote. Christian Picciolini, a former neo-Nazi who now leads the Free Radicals Project, a group focused on helping people disengage from violent extremism, says Trump’s words were a clear encouragement for “continued violence” from far-right groups. We also speak with Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill, who says Trump’s performance at the debate is a continuation of his white supremacist project. “He wants violence in the streets, he wants chaos at the polls, because he wants Americans to feel a sense of unsafety. It’s its own kind of diplomatic terrorism,” he says.
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