The head of the National Rifle Association on Friday claimed that anti-Donald Trump protesters were paid “$1,500 a week” and that they “spit in the face of Gold Star families.”
During a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre said anti-Trump protesters don’t even know what they stand for, but he claimed that they’re paid and they’re violent.
“The truth is the far left have turned protesting into what seems like a full-time profession. Seriously. You would think that for $1,500 a week they would at least know what they are protesting,” LaPierre said. “Half of them can’t even tell you. One thing is for sure, we’ve all seen just how violent they can be. Just look at Inauguration Day. They disguised themselves with black ski masks, they spit in the faces of gold star families. They tomahawk beer bottles and rocks at police, putting multiple police in the hospital. They smashed businesses while customers cowered inside.”
Though it has been a common refrain from conservatives, Republican lawmakers facing protests at town halls and even the President, there is no evidence that any protesters have been paid. There were incidents of violence during Trump’s inauguration, with windows being smashed and 200 people being arrested.
LaPierre went on to claim more incidents of violence against Trump supporters, one which happened—a high school girl who said she was beaten up for supporting Trump— and one that TPM could not find any reporting on—a claim that Trump supporters in San Fransisco were beaten, pelted with eggs and had their hats burned. LaPierre said the “nightmare” of the left’s violence is just beginning.
“Right now, we face a gathering of forces that are willing to use violence against us,” he said. “The leftist movement in this country right now is enraged. Among them and behind them are the most radical political elements there are: Anarchists, marxists, communists and the left of the—the rest of the left-wing socialist parade. They hate everything America stands for: Democracy, free market capitalism, representative government, individual freedom. They want to tear down our system and replace it with their collectivist top-down global-government-knows-best-utopia.”
LaPierre claimed that billionaire George Soros is paying protesters, that crime is on the rise, that gangs are infiltrating the military and law enforcement and that the media “theorized” Trump would be assassinated before Inauguration Day.
LaPierre wrapped up by attacking the media and insinuating violence against the “violent left” if it brings “terror” to communities.
“It is shameful and it is wrong and so are the media’s delivering its lies aimed at destroying our freedom,” he said. “Deliberate lies aimed at destroying freedom. At the NRA, that is something we’ve been dealing with for decades.”
“Make no mistake, if the violent left brings their terror to our communities, our neighborhoods or into our homes, they will be met with the result and the strength and the full force of American freedom in the hands of the American people, and we will win because we are the majority in this country,” LaPierre concluded.