January 6 House Committee repeats Trump ‘Stand by, Proud Boys’ myth

On June 9, the “Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol” of the U.S. House of Representatives held a rare evening hearing.  As predicted in the run up news leaks, the Committee repeated the myth that Donald Trump told Proud Boys to “stand by.”  That is, Trump critics have claimed for years that Trump asked the Proud Boys to stand ready to pounce.  Prosecutors in indictments and court motions and also the civil lawsuits repeat this same lie.

In reality, this comes from the September 29, 2020, presidential debate in Columbus, Ohio.Joe Biden – not Donald Trump -- mentioned the Proud Boys. The moderator of the debate, Chris Wallace, asked Trump:

CHRIS WALLACE:  Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups…” 


CHRIS WALLACE:  “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” 

DONALD TRUMP:  “Sure, I'm willing to do that.”

CHRIS WALLACE:  “Are you prepared specifically to do it?

DONALD TRUMP:   “I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing not from the right wing.”

CHRIS WALLACE:  “But what are you saying?”

DONALD TRUMP:   “I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”

CHRIS WALLACE:  “Well, do it, sir.”

JOE BIDEN:  “Say it.  Do it.  Say it.”

DONALD TRUMP:  [pause, thinking] “What do you want to call them?  Give me a name.  Give me a name.   Go ahead and who do you want me to condemn?”

CHRIS WALLACE: “White supremacists and right-wing militias”

JOE BIDEN: “Proud Boys”

DONALD 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.”

Via C-SPAN, September 29, 2020. 

C-SPAN video screengrab

Notice how Trump calls this a “problem.”  Trump makes clear he is being asked to “condemn” someone.  “Who do you want me to condemn?” Trump asks.  Trump says, “I want to see peace.”

Thus, the oft-repeated allegation is knowingly false.  There is no indication that Trump was ever thinking about the Proud Boys.  When Joe Biden suggested that Donald Trump should condemn the Proud Boys and tell them to stand down, Donald Trump agreed… but only after Joe Biden chose the target.

In the video, Trump visibly hesitates before asking “What do you want to call them?  Give me a name. …”  indicating that he doesn’t know specifically who Chris Wallace is talking about.

The following day, Trump explained to the news media:

"I don't know who the Proud Boys are. You'll have to give me a definition because I really don't know who they are. I can only say they have to stand down and let law enforcement do their work," Trump told reporters at the White House.

The president then echoed his comments from Tuesday night, insisting that the "real problem" is antifa, the broad, far-left militant anti-fascist movement.

"Whatever group you are talking about, let law enforcement do the work. Now, Antifa is a real problem. Because the problem is on the left. And Biden refuses to talk about it," Trump said.

* * * 

When asked by a reporter if he welcomed support from white supremacist groups or would denounce them, Trump said that "law and order" was important to his campaign, and added, "I have always denounced any form – any form of any of that, you have to denounce. But I also – Joe Biden has to say something about antifa."

Unlike December 12, 2020, only about 50-100 Proud Boys came to protect demonstrators in D.C. on January 6, 2021.They did not organize or inspire anyone but themselves to attend.They came with no plan but to serve as protective security details.Watch, for example, the unplanned indecision by Zachary Rehl and other Proud Boys here (embedding disabled).

The Proud Boys began as a male drinking club, reminiscent of Al’s friends on “Married With Children.”  The Proud Boys get together, drink adult beverages, and watch sports.  A very few of them, started to provide security to conservative rallies and demonstrations to prevent First Amendment rights from being denied by Left-wing violence.

The Left, the establishment, and the news media have proclaimed one conspiracy theory after another against Donald Trump and other conservatives.Since in the past conservatives rarely pushed back, the Left and journalists have grown increasingly perplexed and frustrated that their old tricks aren’t working these days.They insist that Trump must have a “vice like grip” on the Republican Party because Republicans never did believe the establishment even long before Trump ever became a candidate.Common sense voters just aren’t buying what the Left is selling.

If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com