‘I condemn all white supremacists’ Donald Trump tells Sean Hannity calling out the KKK and Proud Boys after being criticized for two days over debate response
President Donald Trump used precise language Thursday night to condemn white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan and the ‘Proud Boys,’ two days after he gave a controversial debate night response.
‘I have to say, I’ve said it many times, let me be clear again: I condemn the KKK, I condemn all white supremacists, I condemn the Proud Boys,’ Trump said during a call-in interview on ‘Hannity.’ ‘I don’t know much about the Proud Boys,’ the president added.
Trump got in hot water Tuesday night after he was asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace if he was ‘willing to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence.’
President Donald Trump used precise language Thursday to condemn white supremacists, KKK members and the Proud Boys after he was criticized for his answer on hate groups during Tuesday night’s presidential debates
The president called into Sean Hannity’s show Thursday night and the Fox News Channel host asked him about the controversy surrounding his debate response on white supremacists and the Proud Boys
The president answered, ‘Sure, I’m willing to do that.’
‘Then do it, sir,’ Wallace said, with Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden egging him on saying, ‘Do it. Say it.’
But then Trump didn’t specifically state that, responding, ‘Almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.’
Critics of the president saw his debate response as yet another chapter of racist dog-whistling, after a summer of Trump criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement, standing up for Confederate statues, monuments and military bases and turning a blind eye to violence on the right.
Trump and his allies have pointed to protests that have gotten out of control – and made ‘Antifa’ into left-wing boogeyman.
‘But he should condemn also Antifa,’ Trump repeated Thursday night on ‘Hannity,’ aiming the comment at Biden.
The president complained that his treatment hasn’t been fair.
‘I condemn them and if I say it 100 times it won’t be enough because it’s fake news,’ Trump said. ‘I’ve condemned them in the past and for years I’ve condemned people – I think almost everything you’ve mentioned.’
The president started out the ‘Hannity’ segment complaining about his treatment by Fox News’ White House Correspondent John Roberts, who earlier Thursday criticized White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on the network.
‘I watched him screaming and his wife, John’s wife, was saying what are you doing because yesterday I made a statement that was according to most, it was a perfect statement,’ Trump told host Sean Hannity.
Roberts is married to ABC News’ Kyra Phillips, who had asked Trump about white supremacists Wednesday and got a mouthful about ‘law and order’ before he eventually said, ‘Any for of any of that, you have to denounce.’
Roberts kicked off the Thursday’s press briefing by saying to McEnany, ‘If I could start off, I would like to ask you for a definitive and declarative statement without ambiguity or deflection. As the person who speaks for the president, does the president denounce white supremacists.’
He was joined by CBS’s Paula Reid and CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.
McEnany pointed a finger back at the press.
‘His record on this is unmistakable, and it’s shameful that the media refuses to cover it,’ the press secretary said.
Roberts then went outside the White House to give a report.
‘For all of you on Twitter who are hammering me for asking the question, I don’t care because it’s a question that needs to be asked and clearly the president’s Republican colleagues a mile away from here are looking for an answer for it, too,’ Roberts said. ‘So stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it.’
Afterward, McEnany made it personal.
‘@johnrobertsFox I would refer you to your wife’s reporting from 21 hours ago… accurate reporting I cited in the White House Press Briefing,’ McEnany wrote.
‘Just now: @realDonaldTrump tells me he DENOUNCES white supremacists,’ Phillips had wrote.
After Trump’s ‘Hannity’ appearance, Roberts tweeted, ‘On Sean Hannity tonight, President Trump unequivocally condemned the KKK, all white supremacists and the Proud Boys. So – there you go Kyra Phillips,’ he said, tagging his wife, who also retweeted the message.