Proud Boys—and Craven Republicans—Stand By Trump

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Even for Donald Trump, it was a surreal moment last night when he refused to condemn violent white supremacist and militia groups. “Give me a name,” he demanded. “The Proud Boys,” Joe Biden answered. But instead of condemning them, Trump gave them a big boost: “Proud Boys—stand back and stand by.” It was an obvious call to rally these agitators, who have assaulted people in the streets from New York City to Portland, for possible post-election violence, and they couldn’t have been happier about it:

Within minutes, members of the group were posting in private social media channels, calling the president’s comments “historic.” In one channel dedicated to the Proud Boys on Telegram, a private messaging app, group members called the president’s comment a tacit endorsement of their violent tactics. In another message, a member commented that the group was already seeing a spike in “new recruits.”

It’s now been 12 hours since the debate, and so far Republicans seem to be either staying quiet about this or trying to twist Trump’s words to make them sound harmless. “I heard it differently,” said Chris Christie. And with that, a party that has shamed itself for the past four years falls even further into the abyss.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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