The new leader of the far-right group called the Proud Boys made a cameo during President Donald Trump’s latest televised speech, in Miami on Monday. Sitting in the audience clad in sunglasses and a black T-shirt bearing the slogan “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong,” Enrique Tarrio appeared on camera right behind the president.
Tarrio, whose presence was first recognized by the Miami New Times’ Jerry Iannelli, assumed leadership of the Proud Boys — a national group known for glorifying misogyny, engaging in violent street brawls, and having ties to white nationalism — after its founder, Gavin McInnes, announced his resignation in November.
Tarrio, 34, told the Washington Post that Trump didn’t know he was there and that he’d shown up early to get a good seat at the event, which was held at Florida International University. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The new Proud Boys leader has made headlines in the past for his apparent chuminess with the president’s longtime adviser Roger Stone and has often been photographed wearing the same “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong” T-shirt, which Stone is selling online to raise money for his legal fees.
Stone was indicted last month on federal charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, alleging that he misled congressional investigators about his engagement with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.
After Stone's indictment, Tarrio appeared alongside him outside a federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Days later, he was photographed entering Stone’s home there.
The Proud Boys also posted a video of Stone to their YouTube channel a year ago in which he recites the group’s mantra. “Hi, I’m Roger Stone,” Stone tells the camera. “I’m a Western chauvinist, and I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”
Stone even asked the group to be his security detail at a rally in Oregon earlier this year.
In addition to their support of Stone, the Proud Boys regularly don red MAGA hats as part of their uniform, and many of the group’s members are outspoken Trump supporters. They’ve posed for photos with California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes and with Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson.
Ten members of the Proud Boys are currently facing charges in connection to a violent street brawl in New York last October, in which Proud Boys were seen on camera beating protesters and shouting homophobic slurs following a speaking appearance by then-leader McInnes at the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan. The group has also shown up at events alongside avowed white nationalists and hardcore skinheads.
Disclosure: The Proud Boys organization was founded by Gavin McInnes, a co-founder of VICE Media. McInnes left VICE in 2008 and has not been involved in the company since.
Cover image: President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Florida International University on February 18, 2019 in Miami. President Trump spoke about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)