President Donald Trump’s decision not to make a full statement on opposing white supremacists during the first presidential debate was met with fiery criticism. Some of his opponents took the opportunity in the media to argue that his lack of response means he actually supports the hate groups.
Nothing could be further from the truth, stated the Trump Campaign’s Strategic Advisor and Jewish Voices for Trump Co-Chair, Boris Epshteyn.
He told this reporter in an exclusive interview Wednesday that Trump condemns white supremacists and the fact was “clear as day” at the debate Tuesday night.
Trump’s comments Tuesday were as follows:
“Sure, I’m willing to do that. But, I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing… I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace,” Trump said in response to Fox News host Chris Wallace, who asked him to condemn white supremacist groups.
Wallace wasn’t satisfied with that response, and again pressed Trump.
“What do you want me to call them? Give me a name. Go ahead, who would you like me to condemn? Who,” Trump then asked Wallace,
Wallace specified that Trump should condemn ‘white supremacists and Proud Boys.’
“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,” Trump said before Biden interrupted him to clarify that ‘Antifa is an idea, not an organization,’ citing FBI Director Christopher Wray’s earlier comments.
Epshteyn responded, “President Trump did condemn white supremacists. When Chris Wallace asked him that as part of asking whether Joe Biden condemned Antifa, Chris Wallace ended up asking President Trump if he condemns white supremacists and he said yes, he said ‘sure.”
“And then Joe Biden jumped in with his mumbo jumbo and really didn’t know what day it was I guess… and then even specifically to the Proud Boys, President Trump said ‘stand back,’ so it’s pretty clear where President Trump stands,” added Epshteyn. “It’s absolutely clear where he stands. He’s been clear on it for a long time now going back to the Jake Tapper interview and denouncing David Duke and so on and so forth.”
He added, “President Trump has been clear that he denounces white supremacists and he did that also in his speech about Charlottesville that the left likes to lie about so much, including Joe Biden, who lies about it all the time. The President condemned white supremacists then.”
Epshteyn was born in the former Soviet Union. He and his family escaped communism in the region as Jewish refugees to the United States in 1993.
He said Trump has championed the fight against antisemitism, which Epshteyn understands personally.
“I’m Jewish and I’m proud to work for a president who’s done so much to combat antisemitism, signed the Never Again Holocaust Education Act into law, which gave $10 million towards Holocaust education in this country, signed the Just Act into law, which makes it easier for victims of the Holocaust and their descendants to receive restitution and then signed an executive order which absolutely classified antisemitism as a hate crime and enable the federal government, federal agencies to use their full resources to combat antisemitism, and that’s just domestically,” Epshteyn explained.
He continued, “He’s done so much on the international front in terms of standing with the State of Israel, moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, something that president after president had promised, tearing up the terrible Iran deal, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, and then the historic Abraham Accord.”
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