Proud Boys Chairman Sat Behind Trump At A Speech Monday

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 18: President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Florida International University on February 18, 2019 in Miami, Florida. President Trump spoke about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. (... MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 18: President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Florida International University on February 18, 2019 in Miami, Florida. President Trump spoke about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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February 19, 2019 2:28 pm
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The chairman of the far-right gang the Proud Boys sat on stage behind President Donald Trump during a speech in Miami on Monday.

“I got there at 7 a.m., so I got to pick my seat,” Enrique Tarrio confirmed to The Washington Post.

The White House did not return TPM’s request for comment about what vetting procedure, if any, it used for people sitting on stage behind the President.

The group’s new chairman was first spotted behind Trump on Monday by Miami New Times reporter Jerry Iannelli.

Tarrio took over atop the Proud Boys after founder Gavin McInnes stepped away from the role. McInnes claimed he was told the change would help the legal cases of several Proud Boys arrested following a street brawl in New York City.

At the Monday event, Tarrio appeared to be wearing a shirt with the text “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong,” which Stone is selling to fund his legal expenses as a recent indictee in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. Tarrio wore the same shirt during a visit to Stone’s house after the Trump confidante’s recent arrest. A website registered to someone sharing Tarrio’s name also sells the same shirt and other Proud Boys-related gear, Slate recently reported.

Like many Proud Boys, Tarrio has employed fascistic and violent references online, and did so again Monday. 

The Proud Boys are well-known for their often-violent confrontations with anti-fascist groups. Tarrio attended the deadly Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, but claimed afterward that he “was completely against” white nationalists’ torch-lit march the night before the event.

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