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Friday, March 22, 2019

By Doina Chiacu and Bob Chiarito

WASHINGTON/BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (Reuters) – Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump refused to take responsibility on Sunday for clashes at his campaign events and criticized protesters who have dogged his rallies and forced him to cancel one in Chicago last week.

When a protester interrupted his speech on Sunday at an airport hangar in Bloomington, Illinois, minutes after it began, Trump derided him as a “disrupter” and told the cheering crowd: “Don’t worry about it – I don’t hear their voice.”

“Our rallies are so big and we have so many people, I never hear their voices. I only hear our people’s voices saying: ‘There they are, there they are,'” the billionaire businessman said as the audience roared approval and some 2,000 protesters waited outside.

Two later rallies on Sunday in Ohio and Florida passed without disruption.

Trump is trying to cement his lead over his remaining Republican rivals – U.S. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida and Ohio Governor John Kasich – in five states that hold presidential nominating contests on Tuesday for Republicans and Democrats: Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri.

The four Republicans and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are vying to run in the Nov. 8 election to succeed Democratic President Barack Obama.

Trump used a round of Sunday morning television appearances to rebut strong criticism from Republican rivals and Democrats that he was encouraging discord with divisive language disparaging Muslims and illegal immigrants.

“I don’t accept responsibility. I do not condone violence in any shape,” Trump said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The 69-year-old New York real estate mogul defended his supporters and said he was considering helping pay the legal fees of a 78-year-old white man who punched a young black man at a Trump rally in North Carolina last week. The man, Trump said, “got carried away.”

“I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it,” he said.

The man, John McGraw, was charged with assault and later with communicating a threat after he was seen on video saying he enjoyed hitting “that loudmouth” and threatening next time “to kill him.”

Trump had earlier promised to help cover the legal fees of supporters involved in clashes at his rallies.


Simmering Tensions

On Friday night, thousands of protesters, many of them telling journalists they were Sanders or Clinton supporters, showed up at the Chicago rally, forcing Trump to cancel the event and casting a shadow over his weekend rallies.

Trump drew condemnation from his rivals.

“We are now seeing images on television that we haven’t seen in this country since the 1960s, images that make us look like a Third World country,” Rubio, 44, said at a campaign event in The Villages, a retirement community in Florida. “Do we really want to live in a country where Americans hate each other?”

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner and former U.S. secretary of state, said Trump was “incredibly bigoted” and pitting Americans against each other.

“He is trafficking in hate and fear,” she told CNN. “He is playing to our worst instincts.”

Trump said tension at his rallies came from people being “sick and tired” of American leadership that has cost them jobs through trade deals, failed to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, and treated military veterans poorly.

“The people are angry at that – they’re not angry about something I’m saying,” he said. “I’m just the messenger.”

Trump has harnessed the discontent of white, working-class voters who blame trade deals for costing them jobs. He has proposed building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, disparaged some Mexican immigrants as criminals and advocated a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

A few dozen protesters, mostly young, stood in the rain outside a later Trump rally on Sunday in West Chester, Ohio, near Cincinnati.

Alexander Shelton, a 26-year-old student and activist, wore a white Muslim prayer robe with a picture of the civil rights leader Malcolm X painted on front.

“We have to stand up against white supremacy,” he said. “Trump stands for that.”

Michael McKinney, 47, a self-employed credit-card processor from Ohio, came to the rally with his wife and young daughter, and blamed the protesters for the violence.

“If the protesters don’t act civilly, people on the edge are going to snap,” he said.

“We are not a Third World nation. We don’t stand for killing each other because we disagree or even harm each other,” he said. “This isn’t the United States I grew up in.”


(Additional reporting by Lucia Mutikana and Patrick Rucker in Washington, Steve Holland in The Villages, Fla., Jim Oliphant in Boca Raton, Fla., and Joe Wessels in West Chester, Ohio; Writing by Doina Chiacu and Jonathan Allen; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Bloomington, Illinois, March 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young

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41 responses to “Trump Says He Accepts No Responsibility For Campaign Protesters”

  1. Independent1 says:

    Of course Donald accepts no responsibility – that’s usual for pathological liars. This statement of his proves that:

    “I don’t accept responsibility. I do not condone violence in any shape,” Trump said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    “I don’t condone violence in any shape.” Oh really! Is that why Donald you said in one of your rallies words to the effect: “If I was down there with that protestor I would have punched him in the face.”???

    And in another rally words to the effect: “In the old days, when protestors were taken out, they didn’t come back.” Meaning they were beaten so badly they knew better than to return.???

    Donald, You are such a devious, pathological person you have no business running for president of anything, much less America!!!!!!!

    • bobnstuff says:

      He only wants to make America great again, back when blacks new their place and women did what the husband told them to do.

    • latebloomingrandma says:

      If he pines away for the good old days, I wonder how Trump would look covered in tar and feathers?

  2. Lynda Groom says:

    There we have it folks. Trump is at this time the voice of the party of no responsibility. The old canard of the law or order party, or the party of personal responsibility crushed for some time to come. The idea of that a man of such low character being the leader of the free world send shivers down my spine, and I suspect much of the rest of the world as well.

    • David says:

      Almost as much as if Hillary would get elected.

    • Dominick Vila says:

      Remember, this is the party that rejects the reality that 9/11 happened when they controlled the WH, they reject responsibility for the Great Recession that began in July 2007, they reject responsibility for disasters such as what happened in Flint, after rejecting proposals to invest in infrastructure. For them, responsibility is a dirty word or a concept that must be ignored or circumvented.

  3. waggaze says:

    Trump’s supporters remind me of Adolph Hitler’s Brown shirts during his rise to power in Germany.

  4. FireBaron says:

    A person shows up to a Trump rally wearing a “Feel the Bern” t-shirt. All of a sudden, that is NOT acting civilly.
    A person shows up to a Trump rally wearing a “Hillary” button. All of a sudden, that is NOT acting civilly.
    However, when the crowd turns on them and starts shouting at them and hitting them, the rest of the crowd IS acting civilly? I think not.

    • ResqDogz says:

      Apparently, First Amendment rights and privileges only apply to scurrilous, vituperative, right-wing-extremist utterances… and not to the mainstream, civilized, MAJORITY population of Americans…

      • FireBaron says:

        It has been that way ever since former VP Cheney only allowed known supporters to his rallies. It was perpetuated by “Sister Sarah” during her venomous attacks against people she insisted were “not like us”

      • Dominick Vila says:

        A similar mentality existed in some parts of the world about 8 decades ago, and it didn’t end well for them, or for the victims of their radicalism.

  5. Jerry Schull says:

    Wow, So he’s gonna cover their legal fees, but not take responsibility for their actions? Interesting, what a worm.

  6. greenlantern1 says:

    Currently; a lawsuit is pending on the wrongful death of Martin Caballero at Trump Taj Mahal!
    Ray Kot and Sunnil Rattu were also murdered there!
    Adequate security?

  7. itsfun says:

    Trump is the victim here. He did not violate the constitutional right of free speech. Donald Trump has every right to say what he believes in. Applauding these groups of people that want to destroy his political rallies is applauding terrorism. The goal of the people is to make people afraid. They are trying to deny the public square. No one has to like or agree with Trump, but what is happening to freedom. What happens when these people decide to stop airplanes, trains, going to events. Applauding these actions just sets the ground work to do just that. Isn’t blaming these political rallies because you don’t like what is being said, kinda like saying it the woman’s fault because she wore a short skirt?

    • Keith Garevich says:

      You are misguided and wrong. Trump insights and his “fans” follow his directions to attack the protestors. He is Hitler and you are a mindless follower. You are wrong and a scary side of our country’s populous.

      • itsfun says:

        He is just a American citizen running for President. He has the same rights to free speech as every citizen of the US has. The protesters have no right to deny his free speech or right to assemble. What you are saying is its okay to deny rights to someone you don’t like or disagree with. You don’t have to agree with him or his ideas, but you don’t have the right to take away his freedom of speech.

        • waggaze says:

          Protesters have a right to peaceably protest but his attendees do not have the right to use violence just as Trump cannot incite nor suggest violence be used either.

          • itsfun says:

            Peaceful protesting and shouting down speakers and destroying the event for every attendee are two different things. That is denying freedom of speech.

    • waggaze says:

      What did happen to freedom of speech at Trump rallies? His behavior is akin to Dubya days when he had protesters forcibly moved 6 blocks away. Bangor, ME comes to mind as one example. Doesn’t everyone have the right to free speech at a rally or speech? I know violence is not permitted and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

      • itsfun says:

        Violence is not permitted and should be prosecuted. When a person rents a hall, arena, etc. to be able to talk and get his views across that person has every right to decide who can be there and who can’t. When people call names, disturb the event, the event holder has every right to have them removed. When a person is running for a office and holding a event for his supporters, he/she has every right to have disputers removed. Try attending a NAACP event wearing a KKK outfit and see what happens.

        • waggaze says:

          Freedom of speech is not a one way street especially for a politician. Pluralism, unknown to some people, is a two way street or more of voicing one opinion and tolerated among civilized societies and/or people.

          • itsfun says:

            No one is saying freedom of speech is a one way street. What I am saying is freedom of speech does not give one the right to deny another one the same freedom. Shouting someone down is denying them freedom of speech.

          • waggaze says:

            To datebTrump and many of his supporters have not accepted pluralism but have used violence and private body guards to remove those who would disagree with his and supporters viewpoints. Videos have recorded these incidents which is unbecoming of a wannabe politician who hopes to win the GOP animation. Have Democrats behaved with such anarchy and one sided viewpoints?

          • itsfun says:

            People that are causing problems have been removed. It was Secret Service people that protected Trump from a crazy yesterday. If you want to get into a Hillary talk, you have to show proper ID, but she supports not requiring proper ID to vote.

          • waggaze says:

            They’re both campaigning for party nomination and not just talking as though it’s Trump University or a town hall meeting. I would agree that ID’s not be needed to vote just as it has always been. The accusation of hoards or thousands have voted numerous times or voters who aren’t registered have voted is statistically rare and unlikely from sampling done on the subject.

          • itsfun says:

            If one has to show a ID just to attend a political rally, what is wrong with showing proper id to vote for the people holding the rallies? One person voting more than once is too many.

          • waggaze says:

            Are we trying to exclude voters that are eligible due to race and income level? Voter fraud accusations are total urban legend and have been proved as such. It’s one way for the Caucasians to maintain or try to maintain the majoral vote in a fast growing America of races and ethnic groups other than European decent.

          • itsfun says:

            no way. No eligible person should ever be excluded from voting. That is a fundamental right of all citizens. Once a person registers to vote, I believe every State should issue for free a voter id pictured card to every one. This card could be used to vote and for whatever any business would accept it.

  8. ResqDogz says:

    “We are not a Third World nation. We don’t stand for killing each other because we disagree or even harm each other,” [Michael McKinney} said. “This isn’t the United States I grew up in.”

    Neither does a candidate who incredulously states ” I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and never lose any voters” represent one aspiring to lead the country I grew up in!

    And I beg to differ (supported by confirming video evidence that Trump’s “truth/fact deniers” cannot refute): This redoubtable candidate has repeatedly expressed sentiments designed to incite his rabid acolytes to violence.

    Don’t need to list them all here, as they appear like a rash all over the internet from a simply Google search…

    And now – the infamous Pete Rose joins David Duke in supporting Trump?

    “Laughable ” (a la Kasich) truly IS the most appropriate characterization of that fatuous endorsement!

  9. Otto T. Goat says:

    When is Bernie going to disavow his violent supporters who shut down other candidates events.

  10. Otto T. Goat says:

    A Bernie supporter tried to attack Trump on stage, yet Bernie refuses to accept any responsibility.

  11. CrankyToo says:

    So the Turd Party darling is implicitly inciting violence by offering to pay the legal fees of those goose-steppers who get nabbed battering people with whom they disagree. Nice. This POS Trump is definitely presidential material – of the Repugnican variety.

  12. latebloomingrandma says:

    I think their convention is gonna be a whole lot of ugly. It may be worse than 1968.

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