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Photo: Bonnie Cash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday that he believes President Trump "misspoke" when he told the far-right "Proud Boys" group to "stand back and stand by" in response to a question about condemning white supremacy at the first presidential debate.

Catch up quick: Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump on Tuesday, "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?" Trump asked who specifically he should condemn, and then responded, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left."

Why it matters: Scott is the only Black Republican in the Senate. Trump's refusal to explicitly condemn white supremacist groups has sparked outrage and was celebrated by members of the Proud Boys group on online messaging boards.

What they're saying: "I think he misspoke in response to Chris Wallace's comment. He was asking Chris what he wanted [him] to say, I think he misspoke. I think he should correct it. If he doesn't correct it, I guess he didn't misspeak," Scott said.

Other Republican lawmakers have also responded to Trump's non-condemnation:

  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said "of course" when asked if Trump should have condemned white supremacists, adding, "It was not a Lincoln-Douglas debate, that's for sure."
  • Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said the debate was "a bit turgid in terms of understanding the candidates' positions on the issues," but responded "that's all I have for you" when asked about the white supremacist remarks.
  • Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said, "He should have been very clear, and he should have made it very clear that there's no room for people on the far left or the far right when it comes to either an antifa or these white supremacist groups. He should have been very clear."
  • Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) would not respond to Trump's comments specifically, only saying, "I condemn white supremacy, all extremist groups. I think that all of these groups are hateful, and I condemn them in the strongest terms."
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted: "I agree with Sen. Tim Scott's statement about President Trump needing to make it clear Proud Boys is a racist organization antithetical to American ideals."
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): "With regard to the white supremacy issue, I want to associate myself with the remarks of Sen. Tim Scott. I think he said it exactly correctly, and that’s exactly how I would express myself on that issue."
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Trump should "absolutely" condemn white supremacy and that his comments were a "mistake." She added that it was the "least educational debate" she's ever seen and said that "there was fault on both sides."

Go deeper

Updated Nov 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The latest: Biden's Georgia win

Expand chart
Data: AP; Note: AP has called Arizona for Biden, but ballots are still being counted and not all organizations have called it yet. Chart: Naema Ahmed, Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's projected Georgia win will give him 306 electoral votes over President Trump — virtually matching Trump's margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The latest: Trump has not yet conceded after Biden surpassed the 270 electoral vote threshold needed to capture the presidency. Instead, his legal team, led by Rudy Giuliani, has been spinning baseless conspiracy theories and throwing out evidence-free accusations of fraud.

6 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

8 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.