Katrina Pierson, spokesperson for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, recently appeared on The Lead with Jake Tapper to address violence at Trump’s campaign events.
Tapper asked Pierson how Trump’s campaign can deny that there is violence taking place. Tapper referenced a press release from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, which announced they are investigating a campaign incident in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and whether or not the Trump campaign took part in “inciting a riot.”
The Sheriff’s office has since announced that they will not file charges.
Pierson told Tapper she does not believe “that Mr. Trump had anything to do with inciting violence.”
Pierson added, “Mr. Trump cannot control the actions of an individual. I think everyone would agree with that.”
Tapper replied to Pierson, “I don’t know that everyone would agree with that,” before bringing in other panelists to comment.
Pierson then complained about what she perceived as violence encouraged by Democrats.
“If we want to talk about inciting violence, where is the interview with Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama when they’re talking about bringing a gun to knife fight… And we’re talking about protesters, paid protesters, going to disrupt a Republican rally. If it wasn’t Donald Trump, it would be any of the other candidates on this panel, and they know it.”
She also blamed left-wing groups like Black Lives Matter and MoveOn.org for inciting violence at Trump rallies.
Tapper appeared stunned by Katrina Pierson’s reference to the 1987 movie, The Untouchables, He started to say that most people recognize the reference of bringing a gun to a knife fight was an allusion to something else.
But Pierson cut him off, saying, “I didn’t recognize that.”
Violence At Trump Rallies
The incident Tapper questioned Pierson about involved a young African-American protester at the Trump rally in Fayetteville. As he was led out by legal authorities, an older white man walked over and punched the young man, sending him immediately to the ground.
The alleged perpetrator, 78-year-old John McGraw, has been arrested. Immediately after the incident, McGraw said to a cameraman, “Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.”
At another rally, Trump told his audience that security guards warned him that someone might want to throw tomatoes at him. The real estate mogul then asked those in attendance, “So if you see someone about to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you?”
He added to cheers, “I will pay for the legal fees, I promise.”
After the North Carolina incident, Trump was asked on NBC’s Meet The Press if he would pay for McGraw’s legal fees. Trump responded that while he does not condone violence, he nonetheless wants to examine the situation.
Tapper Vs. Trump
This is not the first controversial confrontation that Jake Tapper has had with Donald Trump or a Trump spokesperson like Katrina Pierson.
On February 28, just prior to the Super Tuesday vote on March 1, Tapper asked Trump if he would condemn David Duke or other white supremacists.
Trump replied to Tapper, “I know nothing about David Duke, I know nothing about white supremacists.”
Tapper followed up by mentioning “David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan,” giving Trump a second opportunity to disown them. Trump repeated that he did not know them.
Trump later responded that he could not hear Tapper properly because of a bad ear piece.
“I’m sitting in a house in Florida with a very bad earpiece they gave me and you could hardly hear what [Tapper] was saying.”
[Photo by Mark J. Terrill/AP Images]