The lone African American senator, a Republican from South Carolina Tim Scott, came to Trump’s defense when Chris Wallace asked Trump to denounce White supremacy in the United States.
Scott told ABC News, “I think he misspoke in response to Chris Wallace’s comment, I think he misspoke, I think he should correct it. If he doesn’t correct is, I guess he didn’t misspeak.”
When asked about white supremacists, Trump responded in the debate, “almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing.”
Senator Rounds told reporters that he wished Trump had been more clear with his response. He said, "He should have made it very clear that there's no room for people on the far left or the far more far right. When it comes to either an antifa or these white supremacist groups, should have been very clear.”
Democrats have hooked onto Trump’s response, saying that it proves Trump is a White supremacist. When asked about denouncing White supremacy, Trump seemed unsure what the question was about.
There are a lot of comments swirling around the Internet about the exchange, so here is exactly how it happened, and you can decide for yourself what Trump said.
This was the exchange:
WALLACE: You have repeatedly criticized the vice president for not specifically calling out antifa and other left-wing extremist groups. But are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha and as we've seen in Portland? Are you prepared to specifically do that?
TRUMP: Sure, I'm prepared to do that. But I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing. If you look, I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace.
WALLACE: Then do it, sir.
BIDEN: Do it. Say it.
TRUMP: You want to call them? What do you want to call them? Give me a name, give me a name, go ahead — who would you like me to condemn?
WALLACE: White supremacists, white supremacists and right-wing militia.
TRUMP: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what: Somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left. Because this is not a right-wing problem — this is a left-wing problem.
BIDEN: His own FBI director said ... antifa is an idea, not an organization. Not militias.
TRUMP: Oh, you gotta be kidding.
BIDEN: His FBI director said that.
WALLACE: We're done, sir.
BIDEN: Everybody in your administration.
TRUMP: When a bat hits you over the head, that's not an idea. Antifa is bad.
BIDEN: Everybody who tells you the truth in your administration has a bad idea.
TRUMP: Antifa is a dangerous, radical group, and you ought to be careful with them. They'll overthrow you.
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