4 takeaways from Trump and Biden town hall discussions

protest trump, white supremacy
Protesters hold signs and chant slogans during a march against white nationalism outside Trump Tower in New York City, U.S., August 13, 2017. |

Trump denounces white supremacy (again)

During the first presidential debate in September, Trump was accused of failing his opportunity to clearly convey his condemnation of white supremacists. 

Although he stated during the first debate that he was “willing” to condemn white supremacists, he told the Proud Boys, a far-right group that opposes Antifa accused of supporting white supremacy but publicly denies it, to “stand back and stand by.” That was probably the most discussed line of that debate. 

Although Trump has since clarified his condemnation of white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys and Klu Klux Klan, Trump was pressed by moderator Savannah Guthrie to denounce white supremacy. 

“I denounce white supremacy, OK,” the president said Thursday. “I’ve denounced white supremacy for years. But you always do it. You always start off with a question. You didn’t ask Joe Biden whether or not he denounces Antifa. I watched him on the same basic show with Lester Holt. He was asking questions like Biden was a child.”

Guthrie pushed back, saying, “It feels sometimes like you are hesitant to do so. You wait a beat.”

“Here we go again. Every time. In fact, my people came [and said,] ‘I’m sure they’ll ask you the white supremacy question,” he responded. “I denounce white supremacy. And frankly, you want to know something, I denounce Antifa and I denounce these people on the left that are burning down our cities that are run by Democrats who don’t know what they are doing.”

Radio show host Annie Frey posted a Twitter thread that lists the over one dozen times since 2016 that Trump has publicly condemned white supremacy. Those include a 2016 Republican primary debate in which Trump said: "I totally disavow the Klu Klux Klan, I totally disavow David Duke."

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