Donald Trump is under fire from rivals who blamed his incendiary rhetoric for a violent outbreak Friday between protesters and supporters at the Republican frontrunner’s rally in Chicago.
Trump cancelled the event after demonstrators scuffled with his supporters and police struggled to maintain order, with hundreds of protesters showing up.
“When you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence, when you have a campaign that is facing allegations of physical violence against members of the press, you create an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discord,” Trump’s main rival for the Republican nomination, Ted Cruz, told reporters.
Throngs of protesters, many of them blacks and Latinos angered by Trump’s incendiary anti-immigrant rhetoric, had massed outside and inside the venue in Chicago, mingling with the candidate’s supporters.
Pundits said the chaos at the rally was reminiscent of violent protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, also in Chicago, held when the United States was torn apart by opposing views on the Vietnam War.
Trump blamed organized “thugs” for clashes.
He tweeted: “The organized group of people, many of them thugs, who shut down our First Amendment rights in Chicago, have totally energized America!”
“I don’t think it’s directed at me , it’s just something that’s been going on for years,” he told MSNBC. Read More
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