Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican U.S. senator from South Carolina, said on Wednesday he thinks Presiden Trump “should correct” his comment regarding white supremacists during the first presidential debate.
“I think he misspoke in response to Chris Wallace’s comment,” Sen. Scott said on Wednesday. “He was asking Chris what he wanted to say. I think he misspoke. I think he should correct it. If he doesn’t correct it, I guess he didn’t misspeak.
The president made headlines during Tuesday’s debate when he was challenged to denounce white supremacist groups and told the far-right extremist group called the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said. “But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”
But on Wednesday, Trump told reporters he’s always denounced white supremacist groups. “I don’t know who the Proud Boys are,” Trump said. “They have to stand down. Let law enforcement do their work.”
“Proud Boys” is a male-only group of neo-fascists that describes themselves as “western chauvinists.” They have been known to incite street violence.
Proud Boys leaders and supporters later celebrated the president’s words on social media. A channel on Telegram, an instant messaging service, with more than 5,000 of the group’s members posted “Stand Back” and “Stand By” above and below the group’s logo.
In his 40-second exchange with reporters Wednesday, Trump doubled down on changing the subject to antifa again saying “the problem is on the left.” He also called on Democratic rival Joe Biden to condemn the group.