As yet another sad pro-Trump rally kicked off in Washington D.C. Saturday, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio claimed he received an invite to the White House.
Tarrio made a post on his Parler account to indicate that he received a "last minute invite to an undisclosed location," accompanying the post with a photo of him standing in front of the White House. He followed up the post with yet another picture from the grounds, adding that he "never thought I'd be here." Despite his claim he was personally invited to visit, the White House has already disputed what he's said.
The Daily Beast reports that White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed that Tarrio was not invited, but was on a public White House Christmas tour. "He did not have a meeting with the President nor did the WH invite him," Deere said of the neo-fascist far-right figure, who has become a face for the male-only Proud Boys. His claims come as waves of Trump supporters, who continue to believe he won the election while also alleging mass voter fraud, have gathered in the capital to urge Trump to continue attempting to overturn election results, even as the Supreme Court rejects the election cases.
The Proud Boys have continually come under fire since Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes launched the organization in 2016. More recently, the Proud Boys have been banned on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for engaging with and inciting hateful conduct. The group is known for violently clashing with protestors. Trump has received criticism for not denouncing the Proud Boys, infamously saying during a debate with Biden that they should "stand back and stand by."
The Proud Boys were classified as an extremist group with ties to white nationalism in 2018.