14:56 GMT +319 February 2017
    Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump walks the tarmac before boarding his campaign plane to depart from Laredo, Texas, Thursday, July 23, 2015

    Protester Punched, Reporter Roughed Up at Trump Events

    © AP Photo/ LM Otero
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    Political rallies of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump frequently result in violence against minorities and journalists. Most recently, a Black Lives Matter protester was punched by a Trump supporter in North Carolina, and a reporter has accused the billionaire’s campaign manager of assault.

    Throughout his campaign, real estate mogul Donald Trump has preyed on the xenophobia and racism of some Republican voters. By stoking nationalist fear through comments about Mexican immigrants being "rapists," as well as rhetorical proposals to bar all Muslims from entering the United States, the billionaire has attracted support of an often unsavory nature.

    It should come as no surprise, then, that Trump’s rallies foster frightening incidents. Many of these, including the beating of a black protester at a Birmingham, Alabama, event in November 2015, have been received with tacit approval from the candidate as he watches from the stage.

    This week, two new unnerving incidents occurred.

    On Tuesday, Trump was fielding questions from journalists in Jupiter, Florida, when a reporter with the right-wing Breitbart News website raised her hand.

    "Trump acknowledged the question, but before he could answer I was jolted backwards," Michelle Fields wrote in op-ed, describing the incident.

    "Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground, but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken."

    While Fields does not know who grabbed her, a Washington Post reporter witnessing the episode identified the aggressor as Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s 41-year-old campaign manager.

    Trump denied the incident took place. A statement released by campaign press secretary Hope Hicks, suggests that the accusation "is entirely false," adding that, "not a single camera or reporters of more than 100 in attendance captured the alleged incident."

    Fields has, however, posted a photo of the bruises she allegedly received during the confrontation. In addition, her account doesn’t sound altogether different from the scene in Virginia last month when one of Trump’s Secret Service agents slammed a photographer to the ground. That incident was widely captured on video.

    On Wednesday, cameras caught another violent incident during a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina. As a black protester was being escorted from the event, a white bystander punched the demonstrator in the face.

    The video appears to show security guards forcibly detaining the protester in the wake of the attack, and the assailant is left alone.

    The attacker has now been identified as 78-year-old John McGraw. He has been charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct.

    While Trump may deny that he bears any responsibility for the actions of his supporters, it’s hard to divorce the violence from the billionaire’s rhetoric.

    "Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing," Trump said of the November 2015 incident, in which a protestor was attacked.


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    2016 election, Breitbart, Donald Trump, North Carolina, Florida, United States
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    • avatar
      Pathetic and vicious attacks on Trump. I don't think I've ever witnessed this level of hatred for any candidate. The "evidence" is ridiculous.
    • avatar
      Dissent, differences of opinion are things Trump can't handle, a standard feature of bigots.
    • avatar
      Excellent indeed.Blacks shouldn't be allowed to protest near Trump.They are a known criminal lot and are unpredictable.99% of the reporters are their to record and twist what trump is saying.
    • avatar
      Mr. Trump represents the quintessential of the people of the United States of America for which reason he has to be eliminated one way or the other.
    • avatar
      tony p
      That bruise could be the result of a bondage session.
    • avatar
      jasin reply toelsa.zardini(Show commentHide comment)
      elsa.zardini, I don't think so. It's a shame people look for defeat, almost self-fulfilling prophecy.
    • avatar
      doesn’t sound altogether different from the scene in Virginia last month when one of Trump’s Secret Service agents slammed a photographer to the ground.
      Those security guys don't have the luxury of being gentle. If someone is screaming and acting hostile, those guys are going to discourage that because it puts their client at risk.

      The real question is why "professional Journalists" are so emotional and biased and what effect that has on the information they provide to the public. Is it more propaganda than information?
    • avatar
      elsa.zardiniin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, Give me a break. Washington DC. is Israeli territory and they will never ever allow Mr. Trump to become President, one way or the other.
    • Selectric Typeball
      That debate totally sucked last night. They kept talking about all this boring issue b/s. I wanteed to see Donald Trump hit Mitt Romney over the head, with a chair
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