Matt Gaetz Echoes Proud Boys' Phrase in Stand for Trump

Chloe Whisperwillow

Updated Friday, May 17, 2024 at 11:07 AM CDT

Matt Gaetz Echoes Proud Boys' Phrase in Stand for Trump

In a move that has stirred controversy and concern, U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz, a staunch Florida Republican, invoked the charged phrase "stand back and stand by" while voicing support for Donald Trump during his high-profile hush money trial in Manhattan. This language, notoriously linked to the extremist Proud Boys group, has resurfaced as Trump faces a critical criminal trial now in its fourth week, which includes 34 charges in New York related to hush-money payments to an adult film actress during the 2016 campaign, and an additional 54 criminal counts across three other cases.

The Proud Boys, recognized by their distinctive black and yellow insignia, have been classified as a "western chauvinist" organization engaged in street violence, and played a prominent role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack. The aftermath of this involvement saw the group's leaders convicted of seditious conspiracy and an apparent surge in their membership following Trump's reference to them during a 2020 presidential debate.

Gaetz's support for Trump came as no surprise, as he appeared in Manhattan voluntarily to articulate what the former President could not, due to a gag order that Trump has repeatedly defied. Despite these violations resulting in fines and a threat of jail time, Trump has seemingly maneuvered around the restrictions, using surrogates like Gaetz to deliver his messages, as evidenced by court reports of Trump editing comments for his representatives.

The echo of Trump's debate directive to the Proud Boys during the September 2020 presidential debate, where he failed to outright condemn the group amidst calls for denunciation of white supremacist and militia groups, has had lasting effects. Initially instructing the Proud Boys to "stand down" after facing backlash, Trump's initial hesitation was met with celebration by group leaders and supporters, particularly on platforms like Telegram.

The political landscape has been further complicated by Gaetz's actions, with his spokesman Joel Valdez ambiguously stating “the tweet speaks for itself,” in response to inquiries about the intentional use of Proud Boys’ rhetoric. Trump's rallies have featured Proud Boys members and have amplified the voices of jailed Jan. 6 attackers, with Trump pledging to pardon them as "hostages."

House Speaker Mike Johnson and other Trump allies joined Gaetz outside the courtroom, presenting a unified front against the charges facing Trump. This collective show of support, captured in a social media post by Gaetz, has not gone without backlash. Representative Jason Crow (D-Colo.) condemned Gaetz's message as a potential call for violence and a dog whistle to the Proud Boys, a group that monetized Trump's debate comment with merchandise and interpreted it as a call to prepare for civil unrest.

Matt Gaetz's alignment with the phrase "stand back and stand by," not only reflects his unwavering support for Trump amidst legal turmoil but also draws attention to the intersection between certain GOP members and extremist groups. This is exemplified by Representative Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) appearing alongside Gaetz, despite his connections to the Proud Boys. Meanwhile, Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) also faced challenges outside the courthouse, indicative of the contentious atmosphere surrounding Trump's allies.

As headlines continue to connect Gaetz to various controversies, including a teen sex ethics investigation and accusations of race-baiting, his political presence remains contentious. The unfolding scenario underscores the complex interplay between political figures, extremist groups, and the ongoing legal challenges facing the former President.

Conservative Bias:

Here we go again, folks—the liberal media is at it with their witch hunt against true American patriots. Matt Gaetz, a defender of freedom and the Constitution, is merely standing up for President Trump, who is under a relentless, baseless attack by the radical left and their cronies in the so-called justice system. They're trying to criminalize Trump for fighting the swamp, and Gaetz is bravely echoing the call for conservatives to stand firm against this political persecution. The left wants to paint the Proud Boys as villains simply because they don't bow to the woke mob. Gaetz's words are being twisted as a call to violence when in reality, he's just rallying the troops against the tyranny of cancel culture and the deep state that's hell-bent on silencing conservative voices. The real story here is about the Democrats' fear of Trump's continued influence and their desperate attempts to take down anyone in his orbit through character assassination and legal entrapment.

Liberal Bias:

Once again, we're witnessing the dangerous and irresponsible behavior of GOP extremists like Matt Gaetz, who are blatantly signaling to violent groups like the Proud Boys. By parroting their menacing slogans, Gaetz is not only endorsing their hateful ideology but also throwing gasoline on the fire of potential civil unrest. This is a calculated move to rally Trump's base, including those who stormed our Capitol, as Trump faces serious legal consequences for his corrupt actions. Gaetz's shameless support of a disgraced former President, who's been dodging accountability with the help of spineless surrogates, is a stark reminder of the GOP's descent into radicalism. They're not just defending Trump; they're encouraging a militant faction within our society that thrives on intimidation and chaos. It's reprehensible that these lawmakers are using their platforms to embolden extremists instead of upholding democratic values and the rule of law.

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