Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump on Saturday addressed the raucous protests that led him to cancel a massive rally in Chicago the day before.
“Let’s address yesterday, should we? So look, we had a tremendous rally in Chicago planned. We were going to have over 25,000 people,” Trump told his supporters at the Saturday rally in Dayton, Ohio.
However, according to Trump, “bad” groups had ruined the event.
Cable-television cameras captured images of fights breaking out between Trump’s supporters and critics, some of whom were protesting his caustic statements about Muslims and Mexico. Others indicated that they were affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement.
On Saturday, Trump referred to the protests as a “planned attack” and a “disgrace.” He recalled:
They were pouring into the arena. Good arena, everything nice. And all of a sudden, a planned attack just came out of nowhere. And it was printed by people that were professional people. If you look at the posters, they were all printed. They have a mark on them, who made them. All done by a group, all very professionally done. A disgrace, if you want to know the truth.
Trump said he decided to cancel the Chicago rally because otherwise people’s safety would have been jeopardized, creating “a problem like you wouldn’t have believed.”
“I hated to do this, because it frankly would have been easier to go, but I didn’t want to see anybody get hurt,” he said. “You would have had a problem like they haven’t seen in a long time. Because we have people that are so amazing.”
The real-estate mogul also pointed out that some of the people at the Chicago rally were chanting in favour of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. In contrast, Trump stressed that his own supporters were “nice” people.
“They caused no problem. They were taunted,” Trump said of his fans. “They were harassed by these other people. These other people — by the way, some represented Bernie, our communist friend.”
Trump further dismissed his Republican primary rivals who have pointed out that such violent protests don’t happen at any other candidate’s events. Trump said that was because nobody shows up to support his competitors.
“Nobody cares,” he said.
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