Now that Donald Trump has made his list of contributions to Veterans Associations public, what does he plan to do with all of his supporters who were promised to have their legal fees paid, for any issues caused during his rallies?
On February 1, 2016, at a rally in Iowa, Donald Trump came under fire from a mysterious flying tomato. Is was at this moment that Donald Trump urged his supporters to beat up anyone who looked like they may be getting ready to throw tomatoes. Donald Trump said, “Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise. They won’t be so much, because the courts agree with us too — what’s going on in this country.”
On February 22, 2016, Donald Trump said, “I’d like to punch him in the face,” when protesters interrupted his rally in Las Vegas. At this particular rally, he also spoke of how he missed the good old days when protesters would have been “carried out on a stretcher”.
On March 9, 2016, at a Trump Campaign rally in North Carolina, a protester and a supporter clashed causing the protester to allegedly be “sucker punched” in the face. Donald Trump stood up for John McGraw, a supporter of Trump. McGraw was charged with assault after he allegedly punched the protester, Rakeem Jones. While Trump did not condone the violence, he did say that Jones “was very taunting, he was very loud, very disruptive, and from what I understand he was sticking a certain finger up in the air.” Trump went on to say in an interview, “I want to see. The man got carried away, he was 78 years old, he obviously loves his country, and maybe he doesn’t like seeing what’s happening to the country.” It was at this point that Trump stated, “I want to see the full tape. But I don’t condone violence,” Trump said, adding of McGraw’s legal fees, “I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes.”
A week prior, on March 1, 2016, Alvin Bamberger, a 75 year old senior citizen, attended one of Trump rallies that proceeded to get out of control. Bamberger, a veteran of the Korean War, was proudly wearing his Korean War Veteran Association hat, T-shirt and jacket. He arrived at the venue early to ensure he would get a good seat. At 75 years old, he was knocked down to the ground when the protesters rushed the stage. The crowd next to him was full of supporters and protesters pushing and shoving each other, and in a heated frenzy, after being pushed down to the ground himself, he pushed a young woman down the aisle, towards the exit after Trump repeated over and over “Get them out, Get them out.”
Alvin Bamberger is now being sued by some of the protesters and has reached out for help. He started a campaign on www.FundedJustice.com, a crowdfunding platform specific to those who need money to pay for legal fees. His current funding goal is $15,000, the money he will need to defend himself against the protesters in court. You can find his campaign here.
With all of these issues of violence, and after Donald Trump has said that he will pay the legal fees of anyone who is defending him from the protesters, should he be held accountable? Or should he be able to take the stance that he took on March 16, where he denied offering to pay legal fees. His stance has wavered after he was informed that paying the legal fees, may send the message that he condones the violence occurring at his rallies. Either way he goes, every community is hoping for peaceful, nonviolent rallies, as we get closer and closer to Mr. Trump starting over with rallies as he is named the official Republican Presidential Candidate.