Boca Raton GOP Club Will Feature Proud Boys Leader Tarrio As Dinner Speaker

Screenshot/Wall Street Journal

The chairman of the right-wing street gang the Proud Boys will speak to a local Florida Republican club next month to tell “his side of the story” and “set the record straight.” 

That’s the word from the Boca Raton Regional Republican Club, which has promoted the $45 May 3 dinner on Facebook and through its newsletter this week. The club’s president, Armand Grossman, is the former vice mayor of Miami Springs, Florida. 

Tarrio (pictured above, right) currently faces charges related to the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner in Washington, D.C. in December, for which he subsequently claimed credit online. At the time of Tarrio’s arrest, police allegedly discovered two high-capacity firearm magazines in his possession, for which he faces an additional charge.

Tarrio allegedly told police that he intended to give the magazines, which were unloaded and featured Proud Boys logos, to someone who’d ordered them off of a web store he operates. He’s currently released from detention pending trial. 

Tarrio’s arrest, two days prior to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, may have worked in his favor: Several Proud Boys, including the prominent leader in the group Joe Biggs (above, left), now face criminal charges for their alleged roles in the riot that day. 

Subsequent reporting that Tarrio was a “prolific” cooperator with law enforcement after a 2012 arrest created substantial turmoil among the Proud Boys rank-and-file. 

The Boca Raton Republican Club, which didn’t return TPM’s request for comment Thursday, seems to have made its mind up about the Proud Boys leader. 

“The mainstream media has labeled Enrique a far-right fascist, white supremacist and leader of a hate group which are all LIES,” an event description reads.

“He and the Proud Boys are patriots dedicated to helping maintain freedom and liberty for our country at a time when many of our freedoms are being denied by the left.” 

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