Donald Trump continued to assert Sunday that a man who attempted to rush the stage at one of his rallies was connected to the terrorist group ISIS.
In a Sunday interview on “Meet The Press,” moderator Chuck Todd confronted Trump about his claim at a Saturday-night rally that the protester was “probably” linked to the group.
Todd referred to a video Trump tweeted as a “hoax.” The New York Times and other outlets also cast the video’s authenticity as dubious, and no government agency has said the man was connected to any terrorist groups.
“There’s no ties to ISIS for this man. No law-enforcement official. And this video that you linked to appeared to be a hoax,” Todd told the Republican presidential frontrunner.
Trump refused to concede the point, repeatedly describing the details of the video when Todd pressed him about the validity of its contents.
“He was playing Arabic music, he was dragging the flag along the ground, and he had internet chatter with ISIS and about ISIS. So I don’t know if he was or not,” Trump said. “But all we did was put out what he had on his Internet. He’s dragging the flag, the American flag, which I respect obviously more than you.”
The mogul continued: “What do I know about it? All I know is what’s on the Internet. And I don’t like to see a man dragging the American flag along the ground in a mocking fashion.”
Over the last week, Trump has grown increasingly aggressive in denouncing individuals who disrupt his rallies. In Saturday’s case, Trump’s US Secret Service detail was forced onstage to protect the candidate after the protester looked poised to rush the stage.
At a later Saturday rally, Trump called for protesters at his rallies to be arrested.
“I hope they arrest these people because they’re really violating all of us, OK? And I hope they’re arrested. I hope they’re arrested, because honestly they should be,” Trump said. “I’m going to ask that you arrest them. I’ll file whatever charges you want. Who the hell knows.”
He added: “I’m going to do this from now on. Let’s ruin the rest of — they’re going to ruin the rest of their lives. If they want to do this, let them have a big arrest mark.”
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