Over the previous 4 years, the group has engaged in clashes in cities like Portland, Ore., and Berkeley, Calif., in addition to on the infamous neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 that was organized by a Proud Boys member.
Mr. Trump sought to quell a backlash from fellow Republicans over his remarks on Wednesday, denying any data of the Proud Boys. And a few within the Proud Boys sought to create distance as properly. “I don’t see it, and the group doesn’t see it, as a direct endorsement,” stated Mr. Tarrio, the present chairman, contradicting his predecessor. Mr. Trump’s remarks about “standing by” have been “a small slip,” he stated, meant to recommend that the group ought to “stand by and let the cops do their job.”
However the president’s comment, which got here after Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic candidate, talked about the group, additionally attracted consideration and approval amongst avowed white supremacists. “I bought shivers. I nonetheless have shivers,” wrote Andrew Anglin, the founding father of the Day by day Stormer, a neo-Nazi web site. “He’s telling the folks to face by. As in: prepare for struggle.”
Whereas the Proud Boys declare to be antiestablishment, in addition they court docket members of the Republican elite and depend Roger Stone, the conservative political marketing consultant and ally of Mr. Trump, amongst their most high-profile supporters. Mr. Stone recorded a voice mail message for Mr. Tarrio, who dropped out of the Republican major for a congressional seat in Florida this 12 months after failing to draw a lot curiosity or monetary assist.
The Proud Boys have been capable of make inroads with mainstream conservatives partially as a result of its members wrap themselves in libertarian values, stated Samantha Kutner of the Khalifa Ihler Institute, a tutorial collective that maps far-right teams globally. “It’s arduous for folks to grasp the type of extremism that comes wrapped within the American flag,” she stated.
Mr. McInnes, a co-founder of Vice, the provocative hipster journal, established the Proud Boys in 2016 in New York.