In the final quarter of tonight’s CNN Republican debate, Donald Trump was finally forced to address the violence that seems to break out at a lot of his rallies, especially on the heels of one black protester being assaulted yesterday. (And that’s not even including Trump’s own campaign manager allegedly assaulting a Breitbart reporter, which was not addressed tonight.)
Moderator Jake Tapper asked Trump if he’s “done anything to create a tone where this kind of violence could be encouraged.”
Trump said “I hope not” and largely brushed off the issue by talking about how his supporters “have anger that’s unbelievable” but also love their country. He did say, “I certainly don’t condone that at all, Jake.”
Tapper naturally followed up by bringing up past comments of Trump’s at rallies, including when he told rallygoers to “knock the crap out of” protesters and promised to pay their legal fees if they got in trouble.
Trump shrugged and went “we have some protesters who are bad dudes” before pivoting to talking about how great law enforcement is.
Ted Cruz was given the opportunity to talk about the violence at Trump rallies. He criticized Trump for making his supporters pledge their loyalty to him. Not for the violence-stoking.
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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