Trump On Violence Against Protestors: ‘We Need A Little Bit More’ Of That

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump defended his supporters’ right to “hit back” at campaign event protesters in a Friday press conference where he received Ben Carson’s endorsement.

Trump’s remarks came the day after John McGraw, 78, was criminally charged for allegedly sucker-punching a black protester at a Trump rally in North Carolina Wednesday evening.

Asked if he’s “playing a character” when he says things like “I want to punch a protester in the face,” Trump responded there have been “some violent people” protesting his rallies.

“These are people that punch. People that are violent people,” Trump said. “The particular one where I said ‘I’d like to bang him,’ that was a very vicious – a guy who was swinging, very loud, and then started swinging at the audience.”

He continued: “You know what? The audience swung back. And I thought it was very, very appropriate. He was swinging. He was hitting people. And the audience hit back. And that’s what we need a little bit more of.”

The real estate mogul went on to say the police were “very, very restrained” in dealing with the incident.

Trump seemed to be referencing an incident at a rally in Las Vegas late last month, when he remarked “I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell ya” as a protester was being removed.

“You know what I hate? There’s a guy totally disruptive, throwing punches, we’re not allowed to punch back anymore. I love the ol’ days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks,” he told the crowd.

The Republican also called the protester “nasty as hell,” but CNN reported the man did not appear to be fighting the security officers escorting him out of the venue.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Sincerely,
TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: