'Trump will go down as a total failure': The Proud Boys are in disarray as Biden’s presidency begins

'Trump will go down as a total failure': The Proud Boys are in disarray as Biden’s presidency begins

When former President Donald Trump expressed solidarity with the Proud Boys during his first debate with Joe Biden in late September, the far-right group felt energized. But now, at the dawn of President Joe Biden's administration, the group is in a state of disarray and disillusionment. Proud Boys organizer Joe Biggs has been arrested in connection with the January 6 insurrection, and some members are now railing against the former president they once idolized.

This week on a Telegram channel, the New York Times reports, Proud Boys members declared, "Trump will go down as a total failure." And members of the group have also denounced the former president as "extraordinarily weak" and a "shill," according to the Times.

Those insults are quite a contrast to November 8, when the Proud Boys declared, "Hail Emperor Trump" on a private Telegram channel. And the insults come at a time when the 37-year-old Biggs is facing legal problems in connection with anti-Biden activities.

The Associated Press reports that Biggs "faces charges of obstructing an official proceeding before Congress, entering a restricted area on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and disorderly conduct."

"According to an arrest affidavit," AP notes, "Biggs was part of a crowd on January 6 that overwhelmed Capitol Police officers who were manning a metal barrier on the steps of the Capitol. The mob entered the building as lawmakers were certifying President Joe Biden's election win."

AP also reports that Biggs "appeared to be wearing a walkie-talkie during the storming of the Capitol, but he told FBI agents that he had no knowledge about the planning of the destructive riot and didn't know who organized it, the affidavit said."

After the January 6 violence in Washington, D.C., the U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump for incitement to insurrection — and he awaits an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate. Countless Democrats as well as some Never Trump conservatives have made it clear that they blame the former president for the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Trump, after Biden won the 2020 presidential election, spent weeks making bogus and totally debunked claims that the election was stolen from him because of widespread voter fraud. And members of the Proud Boys were among the many far-right extremists who showed up in Washington, D.C. on January 6 for Trump's "Save America Rally."

But as some members of the Proud Boys see it, Trump didn't fight hard enough to stay in office.

Times reporters Sheera Frenkel and Alan Feuer explain, "On social media, Proud Boys participants have complained about his willingness to leave office and said his disavowal of the Capitol rampage was an act of betrayal. And Mr. Trump, cut off on Facebook and Twitter, has been unable to talk directly to them to soothe their concerns or issue new rallying cries. The Proud Boys' anger toward Mr. Trump has heightened after he did nothing to help those in the group who face legal action for the Capitol violence."

Arieh Kovler, an Israel-based political consultant who has been studying far-right extremist groups, told the Times, "When Trump told (the Proud Boys) that if he left office, America would fall into an abyss, they believed him. Now that he has left office, they believe he has both surrendered and failed to do his patriotic duty."

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