WATCH: John Bolton says Trump knew what he was doing when he informed proud boys to step again and stand by.
There were many problems with Donald Trump's debating performance on Tuesday night. The president spent much of the event desperately interrupting his opponent. He also worked as hard as possible to include Hunter Biden in the conversation.
But the biggest impact for most people was the fact that Trump refused to condemn white supremacist groups. Not only that, he appeared to be sending a message to the Proud Boys, an extremist hate group that supports Trump.
The White House tried to make the words accidental and inconsequential. But John Bolton, a former Trump White House insider, said the president was trying to send a clear message.
Blitzer asked the former National Security Advisor, "What did he mean when he said, step back and stand by?"
Bolton replied, “I got it, to put it another way, keep your powder dry. I thought it was a real threat and I thought he knew exactly what he was doing and what he meant. "
Blitzer followed: “Is it cautious for the time being, but are you ready when he needs you (in the case of a competitive election?
Bolton continued, "I heard that from him and I think if you listen to the way he said that line in the debate, it was practiced and thought through beforehand."
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based policy and technology writer. His work has been featured on psfk.com, foxsports.com and hillreporter.com. He enjoys sports, politics, comics, and spends time with his family on the waterfront.