During the final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Oct. 22, Trump defended his record of disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement, which he has called “a symbol of hate,” and refusing to condemn white supremacy. He clarified he took issue with a specific anti-police chant he says he heard at a BLM protest and claimed that he was “the least racist person” in the debate room.
Trump also touted his administration’s record on criminal justice and prison reform, which has included the 2018 First Step Act. That legislation, among other provisions, shortened sentences for some inmates and paved the way for several thousand to eventually be released from prison early based on good behavior.
Biden responded to Trump’s remarks by pointing out other facets of his record on race, including when he kicked off his campaign in 2015 by claiming that Mexico was sending “rapists” into the United States and his executive order in 2017 that barred people from multiple Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. regardless of their visa status. Biden also referenced Trump’s comments at the first presidential debate, when he told the hate group known as the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” rather than denouncing them entirely. The final debate came less than two weeks ahead of Election Day.
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