Donald Trump’s rally in St. Louis today was the latest in a series of events featuring clashes with protesters — complete with nine interruptions and one arrest outside.
Trump began by invoking the “lovefests” that his events are, but also said that the clashes “adds to the flavor” of his campaign events.
“This doesn’t get talked about in the process the love that’s in these rooms, it’s love,” he said.
But it did not last for long. As the interruptions began, one group arose, saying “Stop the Hate,” continuously chanting for almost 15 minutes before police could escort them out.
Telling them to “go get a job,” Trump derided the protesters. “These are not good people and I heard this was going to happen,” he said. “These are people that are destroying our country.”
“You know part of the problem and part of the reason it takes so long is no one wants to hurt each other anymore and they’re being politically correct the way they take them out so it takes a little longer,” Trump added.
He invoked his rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina earlier this week, in which John Franklin McGraw, an attendee, allegedly assaulted a protester, Rakeem Jones. Trump appeared to lament McGraw’s treatment.
“They are allowed to get up and interrupt us horribly and we have to be very very gentle, I’m very gentle…They can get up and when they’re being whisked out they can raise their bad finger up in the air…some people get very angry at that because you know what that represents and then when they get a little bit overly angry, they’re in trouble,” he said.
Trump said during last night’s Republican debate in Florida that he “certainly [does] not condone” violence at his events.
Trump also praised the police officers there. “And by the way for the press, the officers are being very gentle. Very gentle,” he said.
Outside of the event, protesters and attendees clashed, with both sides yelling vulgarities, as the protesters railed against Trump. Video shows one man, nose bloodied, being taken to the ambulance.