Stuff Gets Ugly at Trump Tucson Rally

A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, shouts and gestures to a protester, on the ground and not seen, as they scuffle as Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, ... A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, shouts and gestures to a protester, on the ground and not seen, as they scuffle as Trump speaks during a campaign rally Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) MORE LESS
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There was an apparent replay of the escalating Trump rally violence at a rally in Tucson this afternoon. We’re still trying to piece together what happened. But one incident seems oddly reminiscent of the incident in Fayetteville, North Carolina where a Trump supporter sucker punched a protestor as he was being escorted out of the arena. This time another protestor was being escorted out of the arena when a Trump supporter punched him, knocking him to the ground, and then repeatedly kicked him before being restrained by police and himself being escorted out of the arena.

As you can see in the brief video clip above, exactly how the altercation starts is off camera. (The tweet was posted by a reporter for NBC News.) That’s because the cameras were following the man behind the one who gets attacked. A few moments before, this other protester had donned a Klan hood as a protest against Trump. Trump called him out and then had him ejected. “There’s a disgusting guy, puts a Ku Klux Klan hat on,” says Trump. “He thinks he’s cute. He’s a disgusting guy.”

Here’s a much better view of how the altercation starts, shot by someone higher up on the steps.

(I do not know the identity of the person who posted this second video other than the name. But the individuals, setting and progression of events clearly line up with the video posted by the NBC News reporter. So I am confident this is a genuine video of the incident in question.)

Later in his speech, Trump again referred to the protester who donned the Klan hood: “These are bad people, I’m telling you. And they’re not really protesters. They’re agitators.”

You can see the two men being led out here in this video.

The one in the front has been identified as Bryan Sanders and is interviewed here. In the interview below, Sanders says he was at a rally for Bernie Sanders at the same venue the previous night. So presumably he is a Sanders supporter, though he doesn’t say that explicitly.

As you’ll note, in something of change of pace, the attacker appears to be African-American. He was later identified as 32 year old Tony Pettway. He’s now been charged with misdemeanor assault. 67 year old Linda Rothman was also arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.

In a second incident, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appears to get into an altercation with another protestor. I want to be clear what we know in this caee and do not know. The video below was posted by CBS News reporter Jacqueline Alemany. She identifies the man with close cropped hair, to the protestors left, as Lewandowski. That appears correct to me but I can’t independently confirm that. The man identified as Lewandowski appears to grab the protestors collar and yank him back.

It is difficult to evaluate the video without more context of just where it is at the rally, why Lewandowski was in the stands or what preceded the altercation. But a subsequent statement from the Trump campaign appears to confirm that Lewandowski is the man in the video while disputing what the video shows.

More updates as they become available.

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