Donald Trump Gives Proud Boys New Slogan as 'Stand By' Merchandise Appears

Supporters of far-right group the Proud Boys appear to be buoyed by President Donald Trump telling them to "stand back and stand by" during the presidential debate, embracing it as a new slogan and considering the remarks permission to cause further violence.

During Trump's heated debate with rival Joe Biden, moderator Chris Wallace asked the president if he is willing to condemn the violence committed by white supremacists and right-wing and militia groups in cities such as Kenosha and Portland.

In remarks similar to his "very fine people, on both sides" comments in the wake of the deadly neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, Trump failed to condemn the Proud Boys group when asked and highlighted the violence committed by left-wing protesters.

"Proud Boys, stand back and stand by," Trump said. "But I'll tell you what, somebody's gotta do something about antifa and the left. This is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem."

Almost immediately, supporters of the hate group—listed as an "extremist group with ties to white nationalism" by the FBI—were praising the president's comments on social media networks such as Telegram and Parler.

Proud Boys leader Joe Biggs wrote how Trump's "stand by" remark was the president "basically said to go f**k them up. This makes me so happy."

"President Trump told the proud boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with ANTIFA...well sir! we're ready," Biggs added on Parler.

Biggs also posted an image of a Proud Boys logo with a "Stand Back Stand By" slogan written around it. The group is also reported to be selling merchandise based on the comments, including at a T-shirt reading "Proud Boys Standing By."

One website also features a T-shirt reading "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by," which is being sold for $30.99.

"Our president Donald Trump refuses to condemn us who take pride in being white," the seller states in a description of the T-shirt.

Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio added: "I will stand down sir!!!" following the president's comments.

The group also expressed joy at Trump mentioning Aaron "Jay" Danielson, a supporter of fellow far-right group Patriot Prayer was shot and killed during clashes between opposing groups in Portland on August 29, during the debate.

As noted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), The Philadelphia Proud Boys doctored an image of Trump to show him wearing a black-and-yellow Fred Perry polo shirt—a sort of uniform for the Proud Boys.

The British clothing company recently announced it will no longer be selling its black-and-yellow shirt until it is satisfied that "its association with the Proud Boys has ended."

The Proud Boys described on encrypted messaging service Telegram how the president's remarks were an endorsement of their violence, with one member claiming they are already seeing a spike in "new recruits."

Speaking to The Daily Beast, Daryl Johnson, a former Department of Homeland Security intelligence, said Trump's "stand by" comments sounded like a "subtle endorsement of future use violence" by the Proud Boys.

"Again, another statement by the president that fans the flames of fear and seems to support violent far right groups, rather than condemn them," Johnson said.

"Proud Boys in social media groups are going wild about the 'Stand back and stand by' comment. They are basically seeing it as acknowledgment and a call to arms," tweeted NBC reporter Ezra Kaplan.

In a tweet mentioning how Proud Boys "are ecstatic" about being mentioned by the president during the debate, Biden said: "This. This is Donald Trump's America."

The White House has been contacted for comment.

proud boys
Members of the Proud Boys, a far right organization dedicated to fighting with leftists, hold a rally on September 26, 2020 in Delta Park, on the northern edge of Portland, Oregon. The group has embraced the "stand by" comments used by Donald Trump during the presidential debate. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis/Getty
Donald Trump Gives Proud Boys New Slogan as 'Stand By' Merchandise Appears | U.S.