US Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to issue her thoughts on Donald Trump following Tuesday night's debate, and she did not tip-toe around her criticism.
"Donald Trump is a white supremacist," she wrote.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez said that though the signs were always there, those who accused him of white supremacist sympathies in the past were ostracised.
“People have been warning about this for a long time. They were ridiculed, called hyperbolic & radical - not bc they were wrong, but bc others couldn’t accept that our country elected a supremacist as President," she wrote. "This is fascism at our door.”
She wrote her comment on a retweet of a video clip from the debate in which Mr Trump is asked by moderator Chris Wallace if he will condemn white supremacists and militia groups.
In the clip, Mr Trump answers by trying to pin violent escalation on left-wing activists, like Black Lives Matter and anti-fascists. He also tells the Proud Boys, an SPLC-designated hate group that incites violence at left-wing rallies, to "stand back and stand by."
Tuesday night was not the first time Ms Ocasio-Cortez suggested the president held fundamentally racist beliefs.
During a 60 Minutes interview with Ms Ocasio-Cortez in 2019, she was asked "do you believe President Trump is a racist?"
She answered, without hesitation.
"Yeah. Yeah. No question," she said.
Mr Trump has failed to distance himself from white supremacist ideology during his time in office. While he recently signed an executive order naming the Ku Klux Klan a terror organisation, he only did so while also naming antifa a terror organisation.
During the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally during which white conservatives marched with torches and chanted "Jews will not replace us" - a rally that resulted in the death of left-wing activist Heather Heyer at the hands of a right-wing protester - Mr Trump assured the public that there were "good people" on "both sides."
Since his statements during the debate, some Proud Boys have made a meme out of Mr Trump's words, and appear to view his answer as an endorsement of their activity.
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