Had it been an episode of Celebrity Apprentice, Donald Trump would have told supporter, John Franklin McGraw this: “you’re hired!” Trump, the increasingly likely GOP nominee for president in the 2016 Elections, said he is considering paying legal fees for McGraw, a who was seen on video sucker punching an anti-Trump protester at a North Carolina rally.
According to New York Daily News, Trump sat down for an interview with Meet the Press on Sunday and spoke about the controversy surrounding his presidential campaign. The presidential hopeful was pressed on the violent event that occurred at a Fayetteville rally, specifically his thoughts about an alleged supporter sucker-punching 26-year-old Rakeem Jones. The attacker also threatened to “kill” the man if he were to protest again. Not only did Donald Trump sidestep disavowing the unprovoked attack, he offered to help the man subsidize his criminal defense costs.
“I don’t accept responsibility. I do not condone violence in any shape.”
The former reality TV star said he backs the supporter charged with assault and has “instructed my people to look into it, yes.”
— Courageous Cons. PAC (@CCPAC4Cruz) March 13, 2016
Trump admitted the man got “carried away,” but Trump said that, like him, the man wants to make the country “great again.” To him, the sucker-punch represented his anger about the Washington establishment and lack of leadership in the Obama Administration.
Multiple media sources joined the public backlash in asking Trump to tone down his divisive rhetoric which is pitting blacks against whites, rich against poor, Democrats against Republicans, you name it. However, the GOP frontrunner for POTUS placed blame on Senator Bernie Sanders.
— FOX8 WGHP (@myfox8) March 10, 2016
Video at the Chicago Trump rally on Friday night captured suspected pro-Sanders attendees holding up signs pledging their support. On Face the Nation, The Vermont senator denied having any affiliation with groups of supporters that used violence against Trump supporters.
“To suggest that our campaign is telling people to disrupt his campaign is a lie.”
On Friday, a CNN news correspondent described a scheduled rally in Chicago for Donald Trump as “total bedlam.”
The event, held at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion, was canceled, reportedly over security concerns. Even before word got out to rally goers, multiple fights broke out between anti-Trump demonstrators and supporters. An unidentified man took the podium and informed the crowd about the developments.
“Mr. Trump just arrived in Chicago, and after meeting law enforcement, has determined that for the safety of all the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena tonight’s rally will be postponed until another date. Thank you very much for your attendance, and please go in peace.”
African American, Latino, Arab American, and Asian American protesters occupied one section in the arena. As soon as the announcement was made, the “place erupted in chaos,” according to sources reporting live from the event.
While scuffles broke out, there was little or no evidence of security. Sources say it took nearly 20 minutes for officers from the Chicago Police Department to arrive and take control of the volatile mix.
Washington Post weighed in after another Trump rally, this one held in St. Louis, Missouri at the Peabody Opera House on Friday.
“Trump is known for his massive, raucous rallies — part campaign events, part media spectacles, part populist exaltations for his most loyal supporters. But the events have also become suffused with the kind of hostility and even violence that are unknown to modern presidential campaigns.”
Pundits suggest that Donald Trump has to tone down his rhetoric as he nears clinching the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 Elections. Political analyst, David Gergen, says that Trump’s lack of leadership and fiery rhetoric can cost him the election. Worse, it could lead to a more divided nation.
At the North Carolina event for Donald Trump, the man who sucker-punched the African-American protester was arrested and charged with assault. It’s unclear if Trump will make good on his intention to pay for the man’s legal fees or walk back same.
[Photo: AP Photo/Gerry Broome]