The fallout of the debate comments was swift. Members of his own party urged him to explicitly denounce white supremacy immediately. Reporters peppered White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany with questions about the comment earlier Thursday.
McEnany dismissed criticisms, saying Trump had settled the matter.
“The President was asked this; he said “sure” three times. Yesterday, he was point-blank asked, “Do you denounce white supremacy?” And he said, “I’ve always denounced any form of that’,” McEnany told reporters earlier Thursday.
The leader of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, took Trump’s denunciation in stride.
“We are now to be called… The CondemnedBoys!!!” he told POLITICO by text message Thursday.
Marc Caputo contributed reporting.