Founder of the neo-Nazi “Daily Stormer” website Andrew Anglin said that President Donald Trump’s “stand by” remark to the Proud Boys was a clear call to arms, writing on the site that the President’s debate comment to the far-right hate group “gave me shivers.”
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said on the debate stage in Cleveland, Ohio, Tuesday, refusing to condemn white supremacy in a comment that has since been widely criticized as a signal to incite violence among a group that has openly endorsed it.
“He didn’t condemn anyone, and he didn’t tell them to stand down – he told them to stand back and to stand by,” Anglin wrote on the website, which openly spreads anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi messages while glorifying white nationalism.
Prominent Senate Republicans pushed back on the President on Wednesday, at times carefully avoiding addressing him by name. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called it “unacceptable not to condemn white supremacists,” without naming Trump directly. Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the president should “make it clear Proud Boys is a racist organization antithetical to American ideals.”
But the remark was welcomed with celebratory cheers on the Proud Boys’ social media channels and sparked a wave of new recruits to a group that the Anti-Defamation League has called “Misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and anti-immigration.”
While some Republicans called Trump’s remarks a “gaffe” — and suggested that the President had no intentions to incite violence — Anglin’s commentary appeared to confirm some of the fears voiced by commentators on Wednesday that Trump’s comments could be a sort of dog whistle to white supremacists.
Anglin said the remark could be interpreted as “wait until I give the signal.”
“I got shivers. I still have shivers,” Anglin wrote. “He is telling the people to stand by. As in: get ready for war.”
Later on Wednesday, amid calls to correct his statement, President Trump turned down another opportunity to condemn violent far-right groups like the Proud Boys claiming — in spite of naming them directly just a day before — that he’d never heard of them.