Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he is “going to take a look at” paying the legal fees of an apparent supporter who allegedly punched a protester at one of Trump’s rallies last week.
During a Sunday interview on “Meet The Press,” the real-estate mogul criticised the protester, who was allegedly hit as he was being escorted out of Trump’s Wednesday rally in North Carolina.
“I do want to see what that young man was doing, because he was very taunting,” Trump said of the protester. “He was very loud, very disruptive.”
“I want to see the full tape. I don’t condone violence. I’m going to look at,” he added.
When pressed by host Chuck Todd to confirm whether he would cover the legal fees for the supporter, who is now reportedly facing assault and battery charges, Trump said he was considering it.
“I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes,” Trump said.
Last month, Trump pledged to pay the legal bills for supporters who “knocked the crap” out of anyone who was considering throwing tomatoes at the former reality-television star.
“If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them,” Trump said. “Just knock the hell — I promise you, I’ll pay the legal fees.”
Over the last several weeks, Trump’s rallies have grown increasingly tense, as protesters have repeatedly clashed with Trump supporters.
The day after the real-estate developer was forced to cancel a Friday rally in Chicago due to tensions between protesters and supporters, Trump’s US Secret Service detail was forced onstage at an Ohio rally to protect the candidate after an attendee apparently attempted to storm the stage.
Trump has responded to the tensions at his rallies by doubling down on his aggressive rhetoric.
On Saturday, Trump called on law-enforcement officials to arrest the protesters that disrupt his rallies.
“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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