Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump postponed a rally in Chicago Friday after fist fights broke out before it began. The move follows a continuing series of clashes between Trump supporters and some protesters at his campaign events.
Trump later tweeted that he believed it was an “organized group” that intentionally disrupted his rally, and added that “Liberals love the First Amendment until you say something they don’t agree with.”
There have been numerous skirmishes between protesters and supporters at Trump rallies. The Republican front-runner for the presidential nomination says he does not condone the violence and calls it a sign of people upset with the current state of the U.S.
But Trump had a different take on the situation when he appeared last week in Metro Detroit.
Violence erupted at a Trump rally earlier this week, when a black protester who was being escorted from the crowd by law enforcement officials was punched in the face by an older white man.
Security immediately pinned the protester, not the attacker, to the ground.
The man who threw the punch was later charged with assault.
Trump said afterward he neither condones nor encourages such violence.
But in many cases Trump has taken a different tone, including his comments from the podium during a rally last week at Macomb Community College.
As a protester was removed from that rally Trump told the crowd it reminded him of when, he claimed, a man threatened him during a speech in New Hampshire and members of the crowd attacked the protester.
Trump said then, “No they took him out. And I’ll tell you what, it was really amazing to watch. And, you know, this was a seriously tough cookie, a guy looked like an NFL football player. We had four guys, they jumped on him. They were swinging and swinging. The next day we got killed in the press, that we were too rough. Give me a break. Right?”
“We don’t want to be too politically correct anymore, right folks? No, it’s very unfair,” Trump continued. “They’re allowed to swing and punch the hell out of people. But if we get a little bit rough in taking ‘em out, we’re terrible people. That’s the way it is. It’s one of the many reasons our country’s going to hell.”
Protesters were removed four separate times during the rally in Warren.
Trump told his supporters to try not to hurt the protesters being removed, but added if one his supporters did hurt them he would defend them in court.