Donald Trump has been turning up the heat at his campaign rallies as his rhetoric has grown increasingly more violent, and his supporters seem to be responding. In recent days, the words “Trump rally” and “violence” have appeared together in any number of reports about the xenophobic demagogue. But incredibly, instead of asking his followers for restraint, and backing off from his repeated suggestions that they commit acts of violence against protesters, Trump is turning a blind eye, claiming that he doesn’t see a problem.
On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace tells Trump that even before Trump’s rally in Chicago was cancelled due to safety concerns, “there had been growing violence at some of your rallies around the country.” Wallace goes on to say that Trump’s GOP rivals have blamed his rhetoric for inciting the violence, and asks him if he is willing to take responsibility. Of course, you already know the answer Wallace got.
After the inevitable boast about how many people have been attending his rallies, Trump blames the violence on the protesters, calling them “very rough” and “bad dudes” who “swing and punch.” After saying that the media isn’t reporting about the behavior of the protesters, Trump makes this incredible statement:
But we have had nobody hurt. And when you think about it, when I have twenty-five thousand and twenty thousand people very routinely, by far the biggest, and we have some protesters stand up, who do you know that’s been hurt over the last number of months? Nobody. Nobody’s been hurt —
Wallace doesn’t let him get away with that claim. He goes straight to the video from a Trump rally in North Carolina which clearly shows a man elbowing a protester in the face as that protester is being led out of the event. He follows that with a clip of the man saying that the next time he sees the protester “we might have to kill him.”
Wallace then asks Trump if that sort of thing has any place in America. Trump, his voice taking on a combative tone, responds that it does not, then immediately launches into a defense of the man’s actions. When he finishes, Wallace tells him “We’re going to put up some tapes. You have condoned violence in rally after rally.” After the clips run, Wallace says, “That sure sounds like condoning violence.”
Trump launches into a long-winded defense of what he said in the clips. Then amazingly, just a brief moment after Wallace played the clip of the North Carolina protester being hit in the face, Trump says,
You don’t know of one injury in any of our rallies.
In addition to being an egomaniacal xenophobic racist, Trump is also apparently blind, delusional or both.
Here’s the conversation, via Media Matters: