Last September, in the chaotic first presidential debate between then-President Donald Trump and then-candidate Joe Biden, Trump sparked outcry for an answer regarding the Proud Boys, a pro-Trump extremist militia known for its ties to white supremacist violence.
Asked if he would condemn them, Trump infamously instructed them to "stand back and stand by." The Proud Boys were thrilled with his message and soon began selling merchandise with his instructions.
What's more, they heeded his call.
After months of lies that widespread election fraud orchestrated by Democrats secured a false victory for Biden, Trump instructed his followers to descend upon the Capitol during a joint session of Congress to nationally certify Biden's victory.
These pro-Trump extremists then laid siege upon the Capitol, smashing windows, smearing excrement across the walls, and contributing to the deaths of at least five people.
After national disgust, Trump condemned the violence and—despite requests from some of the rioters—offered no pardons to them before leaving office.
Now—according to a report from Sheera Frenkel and Alan Feuer of the New York Times—the Proud Boys are souring on Trump for leaving office and for condemning the violence committed in his name.
According to the Times:
"In dozens of conversations on social media sites like Gab and Telegram, members of the group have begun calling Mr. Trump a 'shill' and 'extraordinarily weak,' ... They have also urged supporters to stop attending rallies and protests held for Mr. Trump or the Republican Party."
The Proud Boys said in a Telegram message:
"Trump will go down as a total failure."
The once-devout reverence for Trump by the Proud Boys seems to be evaporating, though the group's self-described "ultranationalist" positions have not.
Twitter reacted strongly to their disillusionment.
As I've always said, Trump was just a mouthpiece. https://t.co/pxCIWJbaej— Ms. Imani Writes Things (@Ms. Imani Writes Things) 1611297752.0
Didn't take them long to realize they'd been played. Only four years https://t.co/de7s2pPh1M— LS (Hutch) (@LS (Hutch)) 1611280608.0
how the turntables https://t.co/XlPbK83qmi— Dr Carmen Monoxide (@Dr Carmen Monoxide) 1611293475.0
Those early morning FBI knocks don’t seem to be going too well with some. https://t.co/MY2vUKPY79— Chris “🇺🇸IT IS A GREAT DAY” Kiraly (@Chris “🇺🇸IT IS A GREAT DAY” Kiraly) 1611274155.0
Ppl in this thread seem to think this is good news, but it also confirms that the Proud Boys will outlive Trump. Th… https://t.co/5dVyFHg0jz— Dr. 2021 is an illusion (@Dr. 2021 is an illusion) 1611318995.0
Many mocked them for investing so much in a devotion that ultimately went unreturned.
The Proud Boys now mock our disgraced former president...and still complain under their breath when their moms make… https://t.co/ftHCqktrzs— David Rothkopf (@David Rothkopf) 1611317747.0
You love to see it 🤗 https://t.co/020pC0hjpk— Miss Aja (@Miss Aja) 1611275970.0
Womp womp woooooomp https://t.co/SSXmSd9sp4— Texas Heifer Finally Getting Sleep |🏴☠️ 🐮 🏴☠️ (@Texas Heifer Finally Getting Sleep |🏴☠️ 🐮 🏴☠️) 1611275087.0
I LOVE THIS😊 https://t.co/Q5hg7WKeFd— Laura AF (@Laura AF) 1611274054.0
Delicious https://t.co/UiSvccXf61— Wakawakawakanda (@Wakawakawakanda) 1611273842.0
The future of the Proud Boys movement is unclear, but their threat to swathes of Americans is still present.