During Tuesday night's presidential debate, President Donald Trump was asked to publicly denounce militia groups and white supremacists, many of whom are his staunch supporters. But Trump danced around the question and then suggested left-wing organizations posed a bigger threat to the country. But the most unsettling portion of his answer was when he directed the neo-fascist organization Proud Boys to "stand by."
"I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing," Trump told moderator Chris Wallace. "I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace ... What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name?"
He continued: "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by," he added. "But I'll tell you what, somebody's gotta do something about Antifa and the left."
Biden interjected by echoing FBI director Chris Wray's recent comments on Antifa.
"Antifa is an idea, not an organization," the former vice president said.
Trump has faced criticism over the last several years for refusing to condemn the white supremacists within his base. His Tuesday night comments, however, were especially concerning to many Twitter users, who believed the "stand by" order was a threat.
You can read some of the reactions below.
Trump told the Proud Boys to "stand by" and it looks like they were watching pic.twitter.com/adkewY7ETR— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) September 30, 2020
Meanwhile, Ezra Kaplan of NBC News reported that online, Proud Boys were "going wild" over Trump's comment.
The New York Times' Mike Baker reported something similar.
Kamala Harris also criticized Trump's unwillingness to condemn white supremacists.
Shortly after the debate, the Proud Boys posted what appears to be a logo featuring Trump's words.