President Trump
President Trump Reuters

President Donald Trump condemned white supremacists Thursday evening, and pushed back on accusations he has failed to distance himself from controversial right-wing militia groups.

Speaking with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Thursday evening, Trump condemned all white supremacist organizations and distanced himself from right-wing militia groups like the Proud Boys.

"I've said it many times, and let me be clear again: I condemn the [Ku Klux Klan]. I condemn all white supremacists. I condemn the Proud Boys. I don’t know much about the Proud Boys, almost nothing. But I condemn that.”

Trump faced criticism this week over his response to a question by moderator Chris Wallace at the first presidential debate, in which Wallace asked the president if he was willing to condemn white supremacist groups and rightist militia organizations.

The president responded by saying, ‘Sure’, before turning to focus on far-left groups like Antifa.

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said. “But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the Left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

During the exchange, Trump also said of white supremacist groups: “I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace. What do you want to call them? Give me a name.”

The president’s comments drew criticism following the debate, including from Republican Senator Tim Scott, who said Trump ‘misspoke’ and should correct his comments.

“I think he misspoke in response to Chris Wallace’s comment,” Scott said.

“He was asking Chris what he wanted to say. I think he misspoke. I think he should correct it. If he doesn’t correct it, I guess he didn’t misspeak.”

Chris Wallace, who also moderated a debate during the Republican primaries in 2016, asked Trump a nearly identical question at the March 2016 debate.

Trump responded to Wallace's question in 2016 by saying: "I totally disavow the Ku Klux Klan, I totally disavow David Duke. I've been doing it for two weeks; you're probably the 18th person that's asked me the question."