Gaetz Raises Eyebrows After Repeating Trump’s Words

Photo by Jesse Collins on Unsplash

( – On Thursday, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (Florida) echoed the infamous words of former President Donald Trump to Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

Gaetz made the statement alongside a photograph of himself in the hallway outside the Manhattan courtroom where Trump’s hush money trial is being conducted. 

He was one of several Republican Reps. to show their support for Trump on Thursday, joining Reps. Lauren Boebert (Colorado), Mike Waltz (Florida), Andy Biggs (Arizona), and Eli Crane (Arizona) in the courtroom.

Gaetz was seated in the first row alongside Boebert, Eric Trump, and the former President’s Secret Service agents.

The Florida Republican captioned the photograph, “Standing back and standing by.” In the image, Gaetz wears a red tie and suit with an out-of-focus Trump in the foreground.

Trump made the now-infamous quote during a 2020 presidential debate with President Joe Biden when he was asked whether he’d denounce white supremacy groups’ violence. Instead, when Biden referenced the Proud Boys, Trump told the far-right group to “stand back and stand by.”

After widespread criticism, Trump clarified the following day that he didn’t know who the Proud Boys were but added that the group should “stand down” and allow law enforcement to do their work.

Proud Boy leadership were eventually convicted of seditious conspiracy for their actions in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

While deposed by the January 6 House Committee, Jeremy Joseph Bertino, a member of the Proud Boys, revealed that following Trump’s debate statements, membership for the group “tripled.”

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