Proud Boys chairman boasts about praise from Trump, talks about taking action regardless of the police

Tim Pool helps promote the Proud Boys on YouTube

On October 12, the chairman of the extremist group The Proud Boys promoted the group on the YouTube show of Tim Pool. The video thus far has over three hundred thousand views on the platform.

Pool, a self-described journalist, regularly amplifies conspiracy theories and has done numerous videos with white nationalists and far-right extremists. Recently, he amplified a baseless smear against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

After President Donald Trump called for the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during the first (and so far only) presidential debate, interest in the group soared. The Proud Boys and other far-right groups cheered Trump’s statement, and Tarrio claimed that recruitment then went “through the roof.” During his appearance on Pool’s show, Tarrio said he was excited about Trump’s comment. 

Since its inception, when founder Gavin McInnis said that “we need more violence from the Trump people,” the Proud Boys been at the center of many violent confrontations. Members served as unofficial bodyguards for far-right speakers following Trump’s election. In 2019, two Proud Boys were sentenced to four years in prison for attacking protesters at a speech. Tarrio himself has encouraged members to bring bear mace with them to demonstrations.

Tarrio was also present during the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Heather Heyer lost her life to a domestic terrorist. The rally was partially organized by Jason Kessler, who was himself reportedly a  “documented member” of the Proud Boys. Talking to Pool, Tarrio described being at the rally in Charlottesville and even claimed that he was the “very fine people” that Trump infamously mentioned, while using the event as an example of why “sometimes it just doesn’t work” to let the police do their job.

Video file

Citation From the October 12, 2020, edition of Timcast IRL streamed on YouTube

TIM POOL (HOST): We tend to see, the way I describe it is on the left we have a wide spread of blunt force. Whereas extremists associated with the right, whatever that really means, it's complicated terminology, you have extremist actions that are extremely elevated in terms of mass shootings, bombings. But I don't think that it's fair to connect you to, say, like a Neo-Nazi group. You're clearly not white supremacists. 

ENRIQUE TARRIO (GUEST): No.

POOL: That being said, some of your members were in Charlottesville. 

TARRIO: I was in Charlottesville. 

POOL: So, what was that all about? Were you the very fine people that Trump was talking about? 

TARRIO: I think I was the very fine people that Trump was talking about actually. I actually went there in a media capacity to record. I also felt a type of way about tearing down statutes, period. Whether you -- they're a work of art. They're supposed to make you feel a sort of way. And I felt like there were protesters on both sides, there was protesters on the other side that felt like they needed to take the statute down. But that didn't mean that there were people on both sides that weren't utter garbage. And usually the people on both sides that were utter garbage were the ones sitting in the back and they waited. They waited till, like, the end of the event to start these clashes. I saw it with my own eyes. Heather Heyer lost her life. Right? But I saw an antifa black bloc with a broken flagpole trying to, you know, harpoon somebody and the only reason that they weren't successful is cause that guy was wearing a plate carrier. Or else it would've been two deaths. I mean, I'm talking that this guy was ramming it full speed at him. And luckily it was broken up. And state police was, like, maybe ten feet away. And he just turned his back to this. 

So that, let police do their job - sometimes it just doesn't work. Sometimes you have to step in. And I'm not saying to be a vigilante. I'm not telling anybody to be a vigilante. And I don't think you should be a vigilante. But sometimes we can do something and we can be smarter. 

Tarrio also downplayed the threat from white nationalist groups. He claimed that “most of these ethnonationlist groups are really not a threat” and most white supremacists just stay in their “basement.”

Video file

Citation From the October 12, 2020, edition of Timcast IRL streamed on YouTube

ENRIQUE TARRIO (GUEST): So, the white supremacist moniker comes, I guess, like the scariest of scary. It's -- people think, like, Nazis are, like, the boogeyman. That's, like, the thing that people, like, accusing other people of -- I forgot, it's Godwin's Law --

TIM POOL (HOST): Yeah. 

TARRIO: You heard of that? So the more -- you heard of this? So Godwin's Law is the more me and you argue, the higher the chances that one of us is going to use a reference to Nazi Germany on each other. So then, you know, the lighter version of that, the light version of Nazi, is white supremacy. And you said there is a lot of scary groups. And I agree there probably is. But most of these ethnonationlist groups are really not a threat. They really don't leave the friggin' basement, they don't leave their house. I haven't seen, besides in Charlottesville I did see some, I haven't seen, like, a scary white supremacist Nazi dude. Except when I was in prison and, like, real white supremacists, like the Aryan Brotherhood is there because they'll stab you in the neck. And these antifa guys, they want to dox, like, white supremacists. Why haven't they doxxed -- I'll tell you why they haven't doxxed the Aryan Brotherhood, because they're going to get stabbed in the neck if they do. 

If this sounds familiar, recall that Fox News’ Tucker Carlson claimed that the threat of white supremacy was a “hoax” on his prime-time show.

FBI Director Christopher Wray recently testified that racially motivated extremism by mostly white supremacists constitutes the largest domestic terror issue in the nation.