Tuesday night marked the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, and it was a doozy. The world witnessed the president in full bully-mode, never allowing his opponent to get a word in edgewise. Then the unspeakable happened when Trump was given a chance to denounce violent white supremacists. It was a very easy question to answer, but the president said the Proud Boys should “stand back and stand by” in a jaw-dropping remark.
A backlash ensued with team Trump trying to spin his incredible remarks with at least one of the president’s officials trying to deny that the White House’s current occupant even said what we all heard him say. And then there was White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on MSNBC who, of course, blamed debate moderator Chris Wallace for his boss telling white supremacist groups to “stand back and stand by.” It’s always someone else’s fault. In 2016, Trump supporters said they are voting for him because “he says what he means,” and now they’re trying to tell us what he really meant.
MSNBC host Hallie Jackson asked Navarro, “‘Stand by’ for what?”
“I think that moment for me underscored just how poor Chris Wallace did as a debate moderator,” Navarro insisted. “There is an expression in boxing; there is a cut man in a corner, Chris Wallace’s function as Joe Biden’s cut man and also as a second debater on the president.”
“When [Wallace] asked the president the question about that, the president said, ‘Of course,’ he started to say, of course, he would denounce that, and Wallace cut him off,” Navarro continued. “So I’m not—I think the president has made it clear that he wants no part of that kind of stuff, what the president also made clear, I think it is a good distinction between Joe Biden and the president is that the president is for law and order.”
Jackon interjected again, reminding him that “people have ears,” and they heard what the president said, adding that when he was asked specifically about the Proud Boys, he didn’t denounce the group.
“He said in fact, ‘Stand by,’” she declared. “Why wasn’t he more forceful about that, and do you believe he needs to clear that up?”
“What I saw last night was Chris Wallace interrupting him when the president was about to clear that up,” Navarro said. “And the president and Chris Wallace, I mean that—I thought it was Chris Wallace let that thing get out of hand and then he was Joe Biden’s cut man.”
“You think it’s Chris Wallace’s fault that the president didn’t denounce white supremacists?” Jackson shot back.
Navarro insisted, though, that Trump “has denounced white supremacists repeatedly.”
“You’ve been around the block on politics,” Jackson said. “You know blaming the ref can sometimes not be a good look for the candidate coming out of a debate.”
“He wasn’t a ref. He was a cut man,” Navarro insisted.
Wallace, despite what Navarro claims, failed to stop Trump from interrupting Biden at every turn.
Featured image via screen capture