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Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek October 6, 2020

Proud Boys leader who helps run Latinos for Trump group is not part of Trump campaign

If Your Time is short

• Enrique Tarrio is the chairman of a far-right group known as the Proud Boys. 

• Tarrio is the Florida state director of a group that supports President Donald Trump, but the group is not a part of the official Trump campaign.

• Tarrio is not a part of the official Latinos for Trump coalition or the Trump campaign.

 

During the first presidential debate President Donald Trump told a far-right group known as the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by" when he was asked to condemn white supremacists. 

Trump later walked back the comment, saying he didn’t know who the Proud Boys were. "I can only say they have to stand down," Trump told reporters. 

Trump’s comments made the Proud Boys group part of the national election conversation and inspired plenty of talk on social media, some of it factually flawed.

"The leader of Proud Boys is the Florida state director of Latinos for Trump," reads one Oct. 1 Instagram post. The post continues in another image, specifying, "Enrique Tarrio is the Florida state director of Miami-based Latinos for Trump, and the national chairman of Proud Boys."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The post came from an unverified Instagram account called Cubanos con Biden, translated Cubans with Biden in English. A spokesperson for former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign said the post was not official campaign communication.

Here’s what we know: Tarrio is the current chairman of the Proud Boys, according to the New York Times and the Anti-Defamation League. He is also listed as the Florida state director of a group called Latinos for Trump, which is run by organization president Bianca Gracia.

Tarrio ran to represent Florida’s 27th Congressional District, but he struggled with fundraising and ultimately dropped out of the race before the August primary.

But here’s where things get nuanced: the Latinos for Trump group that Tarrio is involved in is not directly associated with the official Trump campaign, as its name might suggest. 

Garcia and Tarrio’s Latinos for Trump site includes a small but important disclaimer at the bottom of its homepage: "Latinos for Trump is not affiliated with, authorized, or sponsored by Donald J. Trump, Inc. which is the principal campaign committee of President Donald J. Trump."

Ken Farnaso, a spokesperson for the official Trump campaign, also confirmed Tarrio holds no position within Trump’s official campaign organization.

"Mr. Tarrio is not affiliated with the Trump Campaign, the family, or our official Latinos for Trump coalition," he said. "He is also not the state director of our coalition and is not on our advisory board."

The Trump campaign has sent cease and desist letters to the unofficial Latinos for Trump group. Among other things, the letters requested the group include "prominent disclaimers" on each page of its website and on its marketing and promotional materials that indicate the group is not affiliated with the official Trump campaign.

The official Latinos for Trump campaign website lists its advisory board members, and Tarrio is not among them.

Our ruling

An Instagram post says, "The leader of Proud Boys is the Florida state director of Latinos for Trump."

Enrique Tarrio, who is chairman of the Proud Boys, is also the Florida state director of a group called Latinos for Trump. However, the Latinos for Trump group Tarrio helps run is not affiliated with the official Trump campaign in any way. 

The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important context: there are two Latinos for Trump groups — one sanctioned by the Trump campaign and another outside the campaign’s purview. This post inaccurately suggests the Trump campaign hired a leader of the Proud Boys to run some campaign operations in Florida. That’s not what happened. We rate this post Half True.

 

Our Sources

Instagram post, Oct. 2, 2020

Email interview with Trump campaign spokesperson Matt Wolking, Oct. 5, 2020

Interview with Kevin Munoz, the Joe Biden campaign’s Florida press secretary, Oct. 5, 2020

The Washington Post, "Trump’s ‘stand by’ remark puts the Proud Boys in the spotlight," Sept. 30, 2020

New York Times, "The Florida director of a pro-Trump Latino group is the chairman of the Proud Boys," Oct. 2, 2020

CNN, "Leader of Proud Boys also leads grassroots group Latinos for Trump," Oct. 1, 2020

The Washington Post, "What to Know About the ‘Proud Boys’ Trump Told to ‘Stand By,’" Oct. 1, 2020

The Independent, "Proud Boys: The male-only far-right fringe group who advocate 'Western chauvinism' and love Aladdin," Oct. 17, 2018

The Hill, "Trump says Proud Boys should 'stand down' after backlash to debate comments," Sept. 30, 2020

ABC News, "Trump campaign clashes with early Latino surrogates who feel shunned in launch of ‘Latinos for Trump,’" July 10, 2019

Anti-Defamation League, "Proud Boys," accessed Oct. 5, 2020

Latinos for Trump 2020, "Meet the Advisory Board," accessed Oct. 5, 2020

Insider, "The Proud Boys chairman says members of the extremist organization are running for office — and you might not know if you're voting for one," Sept. 30, 2020 

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Proud Boys leader who helps run Latinos for Trump group is not part of Trump campaign

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