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President Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he doesn't know who the Proud Boys are, after saying at the presidential debate last night that the far-right group should "stand back and stand by" in response to a question asking him to condemn white supremacists.

Why it matters: The comments set off outrage and calls for clarification from a number of Republican senators. After being asked several times on Wednesday whether he will condemn white supremacy, Trump responded, "I have always denounced any form — any form of any of that, you have to denounce. But I also — Joe Biden has to say something about antifa."

The exchange:

TRUMP: "I don't know who the Proud Boys are. You'll have to give me a definition because I really don't know who they are. I can only say they have to stand down and let law enforcement do their work. ... As people see how bad this radical liberal Democrat movement is and how weak, the law enforcement is going to come back stronger and stronger. But again, I don't know who Proud Boys are, but whoever they are, they have to stand down and let law enforcement do their work.
REPORTER: "Mr. President, during the speech when you said 'stand by,' that might be [inaudible]"
TRUMP: "Just stand by. Look, law enforcement will do their work. They're going to stand down, they have to stand down. Everybody. Whatever group you are talking about, let law enforcement do the work. Now, antifa is a real problem. Because the problem is on the left. And Biden refuses to talk about it."

Go deeper: Biden condemns Proud Boys, calls Trump's debate performance a "national embarrassment"

Go deeper

Trump tells mob to “go home now” after it stormed U.S. Capitol

President Trump. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday tweeted a video telling demonstrators from the "March for Trump" who invaded the U.S. Capitol to "go home," and falsely claimed that the election had been stolen from him.

Why it matters: The shocking breach of the Capitol came after Trump encouraged protesters to march on Congress. "I know you're hurt," Trump said, adding baseless claims that the election "was stolen from us," and calling it "a landslide..."

Jan 7, 2021 - Podcasts

Inside the insurrection

Much of what happened Wednesday on Capitol Hill was not only predictable, but explicitly planned on internet message boards where the MAGA movement gets most darkly conspiratorial.

Axios Re:Cap digs into what led to the insurrection and what comes next with NBC News' Ben Collins, who covers online disinformation, and Lawyers' Committee attorney Arusha Gordon, who is leading a lawsuit against the Proud Boys.

Updated Jan 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Lawmakers vow to investigate police after Capitol Hill breach

A mob of Trump supporters inside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Several lawmakers have vowed to investigate law enforcement's response to Wednesday's violent U.S. Capitol breach by a mob supporting President Trump.

Why it matters: The rally in D.C. was announced weeks ago and widely promoted, including by President Trump via social media in posts lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and his predecessors said inflamed the situation.