Donald Trump may have picked the wrong guy to criticize at a rally in Colorado Springs.
The Republican candidate showed up there for a rally on Friday, but became miffed when the local fire marshal, Brett Lacey, cut off attendance after deeming there were too many people in the venue, The Hill reported.
Trump kicked off his rally by blasting the man’s actions, saying it was unfair to cap attendance at the rally.
“So I have to tell you this. This is why our country doesn’t work,” Trump said as the rally started. “We have plenty of space here. We have thousands of people outside trying to get in. And we have a fire marshal that said, ‘Oh we can’t allow more people.'”
But Donald Trump wasn’t done there. He went on to claim that Lacey might have been a plant from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
“And the reason they won’t let them in is because they don’t know what the hell they’re doing,” Trump continued. “Hey, maybe they’re a Hillary person. Could that be possible? Probably. I don’t think there are too many of them.”
But Donald Trump seemed to pick the wrong guy to pick on. It turns out that Brett Lacey was named Citizen of the Year for his actions following the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs. As the Gazette reported, he received the honor in February at a ceremony that drew 350 people.
Lacey was among a number of police officers and firefighters who were honored for their response to the shooting, which took place over the course of several hours.
“The CSFD is a world class department with a lot of great people,” Fire Chief Christopher Riley said in a statement, “so it is an honor to be able to recognize so many of our staff with these well-deserved awards.”
But Donald Trump continued to rip into Brett Lacey throughout his appearance, calling his actions to cap attendance an apparent act of bureaucratic incompetence.
“Then you wonder why we’re going to hell,” Trump said. “That’s why we’re going to hell.”
Even at the end of his speech, Trump continued his assault on Lacey.
“He’s probably a Democrat,” Trump said. “He’s probably a guy that doesn’t get it.”
The criticism of one of Colorado Springs’ local heroes barely registered as a blip on Donald Trump’s controversy radar, as the Republican candidate has gotten himself into trouble constantly through his shoot-from-the-hip style of campaigning.
The biggest controversy at the end of the week came as Trump said he’s starting to agree with protesters who claim that Hillary Clinton needs to be locked up. In his first public comments since the Democratic National Convention came to an end on Thursday, Trump said that he isn’t going to be “nice” with Clinton anymore.
“You know it’s interesting. Every time I mention her, everyone screams ‘lock her up, lock her up.’ They keep screaming. And you know what I do? I’ve been nice,” Trump said during his Colorado Springs appearance (via CNN). “But after watching that performance last night — such lies — I don’t have to be so nice anymore. I’m taking the gloves off.”
Critics have said the ever-present “lock her up” chant at Trump rallies and the Republican National Convention are a dangerous precedent, with threats to lock up political opponents something out of a third-world dictatorship. Even Republican Senator Jeff Flake is trying to get Trump to stop it.
“These jokes and bromides may play well in rare venues and limited circles,” he wrote in a post on Medium. “But they cheapen the very real arguments that need to be made to the broader public against a Hillary Clinton presidency.”
There were even some media outlets sticking up for Colorado Springs fire marshal Brett Lacey, with some pointing out to Donald Trump that he’s picking on the wrong person.
[Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images]