Comedian and actor Kevin Hart said in an Instagram post Wednesday that President Donald Trump told the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) to “stand back and stand by” during Tuesday night’s first 2020 presidential debate.
This, of course, is not close to being true. In fact, the president has routinely denounced white supremacy and announced the designation of the KKK as a terrorist group.
“When [T]rump was asked to address the KKK. THIS MAN SAID & I quote… ‘Stand back and stand by,” Hart posted to Instagram.
Captioning the post, Mr. Hart wrote: “If this isn’t enough to make you go vote then I don’t know what is….Wake up!!!!! This man is promoting hate at the highest level. Blunt f***ing racism…..F***ING RACISM!!!!”
Seemingly acknowledging the error of his post — an error pointed up by many, many commenters — Hart unapologetically added, “If you don’t see it this way then your apart of the f***ing problem!!!! I SAID WHAT I SAID AND I WILL STAND ON THAT S***!!!!!!”
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If this isn’t enough to make you go vote then I don’t know what is….Wake up!!!!! This man is promoting hate at the highest level. Blunt fucking racism…..FUCKING RACISM!!!! If you don’t see it this way then your apart of the fucking problem!!!! I SAID WHAT I SAID AND I WILL STAND ON THAT SHIT!!!!!!
Mr. Hart is propagating a lie, however — and clearly doesn’t care that he is.
As outlined by The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh, here’s transcript of the debate exchange he’s seemingly referencing:
[Debate moderator Chris] Wallace: “You have repeatedly criticized the Vice President for not specifically calling out Antifa and other left-wing extremist groups. But are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacist and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities. As we’ve seen in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland.”
Trump: “Sure I’m willing to do that.”
[Democratic nominee Joe] Biden: “Then do it.”
Wallace: “Go ahead, sir.”
Trump: “I would say, I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing not from the right.”
Wallace: “So what are you saying?”
Trump: “I’m willing to do anything — I want to see peace.”
Wallace: “Then do it, sir.”
Biden: “Say it. Do it. Say it.”
Trump: “Do you want to call them — what do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name. Go ahead, who would you like me to condemn?”
Wallace: “White supremacists and right wing militias.”
Biden: “Proud boys.”
Trump: “Proud boys, stand back and stand by…”
Hart’s post suggests Tump’s “stand down and stand by” comment was directed at the “KKK,” when in fact it was directed at the Proud Boys, an all-male group that has expressly and routinely denounced white supremacy.
The Trump administration in April took a historic step to designate a white supremacist group known as the Russian Imperial Movement, or RIM, as a global terrorist organization and sanctioned three of its leaders, ABC News reported.
Moreover, last week, Trump announced the designation of the KKK as a terrorist organization, made lynching a national hate crime, and pledged $500 billion to black communities.
“For decades, Democrat politicians like Joe Biden have taken black voters for granted. They made you big promises before every election—and then the moment they got to Washington, they abandoned you and sold you out,” said Trump. “The Democrats will always take black voters for granted until large numbers of black Americans vote Republican.”
The post from Hart remains up online and has amassed over 1 million “likes” and over 50,000 comments.