From ‘White Power’ To Nazi Salutes: How Toxic Can Trump Rallies Get?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is given a sombrero at a rally Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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Real estate magnate Donald Trump, who was largely dismissed by political pundits when he announced his presidential campaign with a rambling speech that referred to Mexicans as “rapists,” has been bringing supporters out to his campaign events in droves while vaulting to the top of the GOP field. But alongside those masses of supporters, a small but vocal contingent of protesters has been dogging Trump rallies.

Racist and bigoted language has become commonplace at the rallies, both from Trump supporters and the candidate himself. But so has violence and degradation against protesters who dare to disagree with the GOP’s heir apparent. The toxicity seemed to peak Monday night in Las Vegas, where Trump supporters reportedly yelled a Nazi salute and called for a protester to be set on fire.

Here’s a timeline to bring you up to speed on how tensions between Trump supporters and protesters reached that fever pitch.

Aug. 21: Mobile, Alabama

One attendee at a Trump rally in Alabama could be heard yelling out “White power!” on camera. Trumps campaign said it wasn’t aware of that one particular individual in a crowd of “30-plus thousand people” who were “receptive” to Trump’s message.

Oct. 14: Richmond, Virginia

Supporters here got into physical confrontations with about 20 immigration activists, who were eventually escorted out by police and security. One attendee spit in the face of a protester. There was mutual shoving. But Trump remained unconcerned about the protest because he said “it’s a very, very small group.”

Oct. 23: Miami, Florida

A man, identified as Ariel Rojas by a NBC affiliate, was dragged out of a Trump campaign rally at the Trump National Miami Doral Resort and kicked by at least one rally attendee. At least three groups were “chanting pro-immigration messages,” according to reports.

Nov. 18: Worcester, Massachusetts

Trump mocked a protester who he considered “seriously overweight” as the protester was expelled from the rally.

“You know, it’s amazing, I mention food stamps, and that guy who’s seriously overweight went crazy – amazing. Amazing,” Trump said to cheers. “That’s an amazing sight.”

Here’s video of the comments, from ABC News:

Nov. 21: Birmingham, Alabama

A Black Lives matter protester was kicked and pushed as he was forcibly removed from a Trump rally in Birmingham. Trump yelled from the stage “Get him the hell out of here.”

Here’s video of the incident:

A campaign spokeswoman told CNN that the campaign “does not condone” the behavior. Trump then told “Fox News Sunday” that the protester was “absolutely disgusting” and “maybe he should have been roughed up.”

Dec. 4: Raleigh, North Carolina

Trump’s 50-minute speech in North Carolina was interrupted at least five times when protesters in Raleigh yelled “Black Lives Matter!” at the GOP frontrunner. The crowd erupted in boos and security guards forcibly escorted the protesters from the packed event. “Isn’t it a shame? Thousands of people are pouring in and we have to get rid of one person,” Trump said. “He’s wasting our time.”

Here’s video of that incident.

Dec. 11: New York City

Protesters, some of whom door crashed and some of whom actually paid to get into the fundraiser, were forcibly escorted from the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. Associated Press reporters were also forced out of the hotel’s lobby.

Here’s video of some of the protesters being thrown to the ground:

Dec. 14: Las Vegas

On the eve of the final Republican presidential debate of 2015, Trump hosted a rally in Sin City that devolved into supporters yelling racial slurs, calling for a protester to be set on fire and even shouting a Nazi salute. A protester identified as Ender Austin III interrupted the rally and yelled for gun control about 10 minutes into Trump’s rally.

One attendee yelled “Sieg heil,” a Nazi salute, as the protester was removed, according to NBC News.

Here’s some video of the scene from BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins:

Did we miss an incident? Let us know at [email protected].

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