WATCH: John Bolton Says Trump Knew What he Was Doing When he Told Proud Boys to “Stand Back and Stand By”

There were many issues with Donald Trump’s debate performance on Tuesday night. The president spent much of the event desperately interrupting his opponent. He also worked as hard as possible to work Hunter Biden into the conversation.

But the biggest takeway for most people was the fact that Trump refused to condemn white supremacist groups. Not just that, he seemed to send a message to the Proud Boys, an extremist hate group that supports Trump.

The White House attempted to spin the words as an accident and inconsequential. But John Bolton, a former insider in the Trump White House said the president was trying to send a clear message.

Blitzer asked the former National Security Adviser, “What did he mean when he said stand back and stand by?”

Bolton answered, “I took that to mean, 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 stand back for now, but stand by if he needs them (in the case of a contested election.

Bolton continued, “That’s what I heard him say and I believe, again, if you listen to the way he said that line in the debate, it was practiced and thought out in advance.”

Watch a clip of the comments below: