Donald Trump’s rallies have become magnets for violence and violent rhetoric but when clashes broke out at his Chicago rally Friday night, Trump suggested it was President Obama’s fault. Fox’s Greta Van Susteren was there to help Trump cover up his own record of inciteful behavior and the two completely “forgot” that earlier that same day, a reporter filed assault charges against Trump’s campaign manager.
During his 16:38 minute phone interview with Van Susteren, Trump repeatedly portrayed himself as someone concerned about public safety.
He claimed he decided to cancel the rally at a University of Illinois arena, after consulting law enforcement, because, he said, “I don’t want to see people get hurt and I don’t want to see people get hurt or worse.”
As it happens, Chicago police and the university police each insist they had nothing to do with the decision. In fact, the CPD thought it could handle any problems that might have arisen at the rally:
CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Associated Press that police never told the Trump campaign there was a security threat at the venue. He said the department had sufficient manpower on the scene to handle any situation.
Guglielmi said the university’s police department also did not recommend that Trump call off the event. The decision was made “independently” by the campaign, according to Guglielmi.
But Van Susteren seemed uninterested in verifying Trump’s account.
Nor did she wonder where Trump’s concern for people’s safety has been all this time. Just one day before, The Huffington Post reported, “Racial slurs, nasty rhetoric and violence at Trump rallies have become commonplace against protesters, bystanders, and reporters. Assaults are committed not only by rowdy Trump fans, but by the staff he employs to keep the events safe. But rather than denounce these incidents, Trump is making them part of his brand, and uses them to rev up crowds.”
Earlier that day, Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields filed assault charges against Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. The night before, Trump shrugged off her allegations by saying he thought she made it up.
Yet Van Susteren gave Trump a pass on the violence he has already been associated with.
Trump chalked up the rally chaos to our “divided country” and then implied that was President Obama’s fault.
TRUMP: You know we have such a divided country now. It’s been so divided under this president and I’ve been saying it for a long time. I’ve been witnessing it in so many different forms. It’s just something that has to be straightened out.
…Look, we have a very divided nation. We have a tremendously divided nation and I’ve been saying it for a long time. …In many ways it’s divided and one of the ways it’s divided is white/black. We have so many sets of divisions and hopefully we’ll be able to bring it together. I’m a unifier. President Obama has not been a unifier, he has been a divider. I’m a unifier, I’ll bring people together.
“Do you play any role in that division or not?” Van Susteren asked.
“I don’t think so,” Trump said. He again not-so-subtly hinted that it’s Obama’s fault. “I represent a large group of people that have great anger. And they’re not angry people but they have anger at the stupidity of what’s happening in our country,” Trump said.
Van Susteren did mildly challenge Trump on his rhetoric. “When you use tough language when people break up your events, like “punch in the nose” or “get that person out of here,” are you sort of giving ammunition to protesters who say that you’re the bully?”
“Well, I don’t think so because, frankly, you know we haven’t really had a problem,” Trump said.
Instead of correcting the record, Van Susteren went on to criticize the protesters. “This is a protest, as I understand it, against your free speech,” she said. “They’re using free speech – they have a right to peaceful protest – to try to shut you down from your free speech.”
Van Susteren neatly ignored how Trump has been dealing blow after blow to the First Amendment lately.
She also somehow “forgot” that she was all for these kinds of protests when it was the Tea Party disrupting Democratic town halls.
Watch it below, from the March 11 On The Record.
As I’ve said elsewhere, the 1st Amendment guarantees Drumpf the right of free speech . . . NOT the right to an audience — or even a microphone.
If, as the report stated, Drumpf voluntarily chose to cancel his rally, he has no one to blame but himself . . .
The Donald has some ’splainin to do.
Trump is replying to Bernie’s call for The Donald to tell his followers to cool their jets. His reaction [drum roll please]….
He says “His people are great.” So what’s those liberal haters problem, eh? He’s a “uniter”; Obamas’ the “divider.”
I won’t going into the rest of his endless spew of ridiculous demagoguery. Though he made another call for protesters to be forcibly removed from this event to roaring applause. Seig heil!
Then Lil’ Douchey decided he was going to get Trump himself going on Obama by noting that Chicago is Obama’s home town and wondered aloud if perhaps Obama should have made a public statement last night asking the people to let Trump speak – which, of course, led Trump to go on about what a “great divider” he thinks Obama is and he even went so far as to claim that “a lot of what you saw last night was Obama”. Trump took absolutely no responsibility for his own actions and words which were the reason these protesters were out there last night.
And there you have it, folks, the “chaos in Chicago” (F&F chyron) was Obama’s fault. Geez.
Earlier, Lil’ Douchey made the ridiculous claim that conservatives can’t safely speak on college campuses. Never mind the actual fact that numerous Republican candidates have spoken on college campuses. Daddy Douchey would be so proud that his boy is able to spew lies as well as he does.
F&F are now on air analyzing the minds of the Trump protestors. (eye roll)
The Donald is about as sophisticated as a mud fence.
IMHO, I think what happened was a good thing that may FINALLY get the media to cover Trump and his tactics critically rather than as if this was another episode of one of his brain-dead reality shows. Maybe it will also motivate the youth vote.
I was also very impressed by the behavior of the police which seemed exemplary. However, I’m sure that they knew ahead of time that the eyes of the nation would be on them.
If they want to blame Obama, let them. It worked out so well for them when they derisively called the ACA ‘Obamacare’, didn’t it?
Knowledge of what happened during the early years of fascism/nazism and during Italy’s Anni di Piombo (with terrorists of all stripes planting bombs, kneecapping people, etc.) makes me very very suspicious because so many events of this sort were staged by the presumed targets, allowing the latter to play the victims. It’s very very very important for all concerned parties both to examine the timelines (which usually show that it was the presumed targets who actually started doing such things) and to investigate the real provenance of the “protesters”.
If they are indeed supporters of Bernie (always possible because every population has its own crazies spoiling for a good fight), it’s vitally important for us to inform them in no uncertain terms that violence is precisely what Trump and all other fascists/nazis WANT. IOW, they are playing into the hands of the likes of Trump and Jackson.
Finally, I have some doubts about the actual provenance of those protesters. During the ’70s Italy had both left-wing and right-wing terrorist groups trying to create havoc. The very first bombing attack (Piazza Fontana) was initially attributed to the left wing groups but it eventually turned out to have been perpetrated by a right wing group (possibly with government backing).
So I admit I’m enjoying this moment of Der Furor getting a dose of his own medicine probably more than I should.
Also, I get Greta’s gross hypocrisy doing the typical Fox News narrative of somehow only finding loud, angry protesters objectionable when they’re protesting Republicans like The Donald who she adores.
That said, I came across an AP report where one of the protesters said the protester’ goal was “for Donald to take the stage and to completely interrupt him. The plan is to shut Donald Trump all the way down.” Expect that quote to be a Fox News “News Alert” for a couple of weeks.
There’s fine line between passionate protest raising public awareness to gain sympathy for a cause and one going too far and losing sympathy. Shutting down free of speech even for a bigot magnet like Trump is too far. Please don’t turn him into a martyr.
You already did, Drumpf: you brought together John McGraw’s fist with Rakeem Jones’ face . . .
. . . and your campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s hand with Brietbart.com reporter Michelle Fields’ arm . . .
It’s been fairly clear that Trump has been fanning the flames of his supporters, encouraging them to act out and clearly approving of their angrier instincts. He does not get to just hide behind crocodile tears after he gets called out for his behavior.
And he does not get to play the “I’m rubber and you’re glue” game when he is properly held accountable for his terrible behavior. If he doesn’t want to be chastised for encouraging violence, then perhaps he should stop doing so. This really isn’t that hard to figure out.