The person who Donald Trump mocked at a campaign rally as having a “serious weight problem” was not a protester as it appeared Trump had initially thought, but instead was a supporter of the president.
Now, Trump has called the man to apologize.
As The Hill reported, a senior official in Donald Trump’s administration said that campaign staff got the rallygoer’s information after Trump had confused him with a protester and mocked the man’s weight before thousands of people in attendance. Trump was on board Air Force One returning to his summer vacation in Bedminster, New Jersey, when he made the phone call, which went to voicemail.
Not only was the man not there to protest Donald Trump, he said he actually tried to help silence one of the people who broke out into a protest against the president at his New Hampshire rally. The man’s name is Fred Dawson, a Navy veteran and former law enforcement official who said in an interview with Fox News that Trump had mistaken him for a political opponent.
“He didn’t see me rip the signs away from those three people that were sitting near us, and they were trying to cause a ruckus,” Dawson told the cable news outlet. “It wasn’t going to happen beside me because I’m trying to listen to my president.”
“I think he thought I was part of it, but I wasn’t. I was the good part of it,” Dawson added.
Donald Trump has a penchant for mocking political opponents and protesters at his rallies, which became a point of contention during the 2016 presidential campaign amid a spate of violent encounters during his rallies. He has also drawn controversy for some of the nicknames he uses, including his use of Pocahontas to refer to Massachusetts Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who has distant Native American heritage.
Trump has not been known to apologize to political opponents, even for attacks that have been widely decried as racist, but was quick to take a conciliatory tone when it turned out it was a supporter that he had insulted.
But there's more….
Trump called the man he mocked for having a “weight problem” at a New Hampshire rally after discovering he was a supporter. https://t.co/hDEI1dkjhk
— Amy Siskind ????️???? (@Amy_Siskind) August 16, 2019
While it’s not clear if Donald Trump and Fred Dawson were ever able to connect on the phone, the incident apparently hasn’t soured the Trump supporter. Dawson said in his interview with Fox News that he “loves” Trump and said he is the “best thing that ever happened to this country.”