After last year’s presidential election, the Proud Boys, a far-right group, declared immortal loyalty to President Trump.
In a November 8 post on the private channel of messaging app Telegram, the group urged followers to join rallies against an election they claim had stolen information from him Trump cheating. “Hail to Emperor Trump,” wrote Proud Boys.
But by this week, the group’s attitude toward Mr. Trump has changed. “Trump will go down like a complete failure,” Prao Boys said in the same Telegram channel on Monday.
When Mr. Trump left the White House on Wednesday, the Proud Boys, one of his most staunch supporters, also started to leave his side. In dozens of conversations on social networking sites like Gab and Telegram, members of the group began calling Mr. Trump a “coward” and “extremely weak”, according to messages posted by The New. York Times reviews. They have also called on supporters to stop attending the rallies and protests held for Trump or the Republicans.
The comments above are a surprising turning point for the Proud Boys, the team that for many years has supported Mr. Trump and promoted political violence. Led by Enrique Tarrio, many of the thousands of members of this organization were so passionate fans of Mr. Trump that they offered to become his own militia and celebrate after him. told them during a presidential debate last year that “please stand and wait. On January 6, some members of the Proud Boys broke into the US Capitol.
But since then, resentment towards Mr. Trump, who later condemned the violence, has simmered. On social media, Proud Boys program participants complained about his willingness to leave office and said his denial of the Capitol’s rage was an act of treason. And Mr. Trump, having cut Facebook and Twitter off, was unable to speak to them directly to defuse their concerns or come up with new rally calls.
“When Trump told them that if he left office, America would fall into the abyss, they believed him,” said Arieh Kovler, a political consultant and independent researcher in Israel, who studies the wing. Right, talking about the Proud Boys. “Now that he has left office, they believe that he has surrendered and has failed to fulfill his patriotic obligations.”
This change raises the power of Trump’s support and shows that the pockets of his fan base are beginning to crack. Many of Mr. Trump’s fans still mistakenly believe that he was stripped of the title, but other far-right groups like Oath Keepers, America First, and Three percent also began to criticize him on the Telegram private channel, according to a review of the message.
Last week, Nicholas Fuentes, the leader of America First, wrote on his Telegram channel that Mr. Trump’s response to the Capitol rebellion was “very weak and easily angry” and added, “Unlike as who ran in 2015. “
On Wednesday, the Proud Boys Telegram group welcomed President Biden to take office. “At least the government is honest about their intentions,” the group wrote.
Mr Kovler said the activity shows the groups that have gathered around Mr Trump are now trying to figure out what their future direction is. When he lost the ability to post on Twitter and Facebook, Mr. Kovler said, he also became less useful to far-right groups, who trusted him to elevate their profiles on a national level.
Mr. Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys team, could not be reached for comment. A Trump spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Proud Boys was founded in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, who is also the founder of online publishing Vice, as a men’s club. It quickly attracted those who expressed an eagerness to join the violence and those who often endorsed anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic views. The group has supported Mr. Trump since he took office.
That change in support is gradual. After the November election, the group’s own Telegram channels, Gab pages, and Parler replacement social media posts were flooded with calls to stay loyal to Mr. Trump. Many Proud Boys, echoing Mr Trump’s lies, said the election was fraudulent, according to a review of the messages.
The Proud Boys urged their members to join the “Stop the Steal” rallies. A November 23 message on the Proud Boys Telegram page read “No Trump, no peace”. The message regarding information about a rally in front of the governor’s house in Georgia.
As Mr. Trump’s legal team struggled with election results with lawsuits, the Proud Boys closely watched trials and appeals in various states, posting regular links on their Telegram channels. they go to the news.
But when Mr Trump’s legal efforts failed, the Proud Boys urged him on social media to use his presidency to take office. Some urged him to declare martial law or control by force. During the last two weeks of December, they pushed Mr. Trump in their rallies and on social media to “Cross the Rubicon.”
“They wanted to arm themselves and start a second civil war and bring down the government on Trump’s behalf,” said Marc-André Argentino, a far-right researcher and PhD. candidate at Concordia University. “But in the end, he can’t be the arbitrary person they want him to be.”
Then came the Capitol storm week. On January 4, Mr. Tarrio was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of burning a Black Lives Matter banner torn from a Black church in Washington. Two days later, other members of the Proud Boys were part of the crowd that broke into the Capitol. Some have posted dozens of videos of the rioters on social media, honoring them as a demonstration of “collective strength”.
The group expects Mr. Trump to win the championship, according to their social media message. Instead, Mr. Trump released a video on Jan. 8 to denounce the violence.
Frustration is immediately palpable. Channel One Proud Boys Telegram posted: “It is really important for all of us to see how much Trump betrayed his supporters this week. We were the first and always nationalists. Trump is just a man and in the end it turns out to be an extremely weak person. “
Since then, at least 5 men identified as members of the Proud Boys have been arrested for their involvement in the Capitol riots.
Some Proud Boys have become furious as Mr Trump appears uninterested in issuing a presidential amnesty to their members who have been arrested. In a Telegram post on Friday, they accused Mr Trump of “inciting” events at the Capitol, adding that he subsequently “washed his hands”.
Jared Holt, a researcher at Atlantic Council’s DFR Laboratory said: “They think they have his support and eventually, Trump will endorse them, including grace. amnesty if they need it ”. “Now they realize they’ve gone too far in the riot.”
Some Proud Boys now say in online posts that the group should “go into the dark” and withdraw from political life by severing ties with any political party. They are encouraging each other to focus their energies on separatist movements and local protests.
“To all the dismayed Trump supporters: There is hope,” read a message on the Proud Boys Telegram channel on Wednesday. “There is an alternative solution. Give up GOP and Dems. “