Proud Boys Turning On, Mocking Trump
It looks like Donald Trump is headed for yet another divorce. The Proud Boys are ditching him.
At the September 2020 presidential debate Trump famously told the far-right, chauvinistic group to “stand back and stand by” and they did. Their members were a frequent, violent presence at Trump campaign rallies leading up to the election. They urged their followers to attend Nov. 8 protests against an election they baselessly claimed was stolen from Trump. “Hail Emperor Trump,” they wrote in a post on Telegram.
But now that Trump has left the White House and, as they see it, reneged on his promise to keep on fighting to remain in the White House the Proud Boys are using Telegram to cut ties with and mock the now former president. “Trump will go down as a total failure,” one member of the group wrote. Others called him “a shill” and “extraordinarily weak.” Their also telling members not to attend any future Trump or Republican Party events.
A number of Proud Boys participated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. But now they are on social media complaining about his willingness to leave office and say his disavowal of the violence is an act of betrayal.
“When Trump told them that if he left office, America would fall into an abyss, they believed him,” Arieh Kovler, a political consultant and independent researcher in Israel who studies the far right, told The New York Times. “Now that he has left office, they believe he has both surrendered and failed to do his patriotic duty.”
Other far-right groups that once blindly supported Trump are turning on him. Nicholas Fuentes, leader of America First, wrote in his Telegram channel that Trump’s response to mayhem at the Capitol was “very weak and flaccid,” adding, “Not the same guy that ran in 2015.”
The Proud Boys on Wednesday also poured a huge helping of salt on what must be a wounded Trump. Its Telegram welcomed President Biden to the presidency, noting “At least the incoming administration is honest about their intentions.”