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Trump asks Black Lives Matter protesters if they are ‘from Mexico’ before booting them from rally

Reuters

A Donald Trump rally in Virginia was repeatedly disrupted on Monday by protesters, including some from the Black Lives Matter movement, in a stark display of the divisions the Republican front-runner’s presidential campaign has long been accused of sowing.

A Time magazine photographer trying to document the exit of dozens of black protesters from the rally in southwestern Radford, Virginia, was grabbed by the neck and shoved to the ground by a U.S. Secret Service agent.

Hecklers disrupted the rally on a day when the New York billionaire fended off criticism that he had not clearly condemned white supremacist support during an interview on CNN on Sunday.

Trump taunted the protesters, shouting “Are you from Mexico?” at one of them. Supporters in the audience confronted the hecklers in angry, face-to-face exchanges.

As black protesters were escorted from the rally, the crowd around them began to chant, “All lives matter.”

Trump waited for the scene to quiet down before saying, “Folks, you’re going to hear it once: All lives matter.” The crowd roared with applause.

Black Lives Matter is a civil rights movement that sprung from police shootings of black Americans in recent years.

The Trump rally took place on the eve of “Super Tuesday,” the biggest voting day in the race to pick the 2016 presidential nominees for the November election. A number of Southern states including Virginia are holding contests on Tuesday and opinion polls show Trump is likely to consolidate his status as favorite to win the Republican nomination.

It was unclear whether Trump would be damaged by support from white supremacists. He has risen in opinion polls and won three of four early nominating contests while proposing a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country, calling Mexican immigrants criminals and insulting women.

On Monday, the protesters disrupted Trump’s remarks several times for long stretches, prompting him to shout to security guards several times, “Get them out please, get them out.”

Trump appeared to relish the discord, saying after the turmoil in the crowd that his rallies were more exciting than those of the other candidates: “But it is fun, and exciting.”

At a rally last week in Nevada, Trump also jumped into the fray with a protester when he said, “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

Time photographer Chris Morris was on the fringe of an enclosed media section when he was seized by an agent from the Secret Service, which has the job of protecting the U.S. president and some White House candidates.

“I stepped 18 inches out of the (press) pen and then he grabbed me by the neck and started choking me and then he slammed me to the ground,” Morris told CNN at the scene.

The Trump campaign said it was not aware of the details of the incident and directed inquires to local law enforcement.

Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback said the agency was aware of the incident involving one of its employees but it is still working to “determine the exact circumstances that led up to this incident.”

Earlier on Monday, Trump’s rivals slammed him for equivocating on white supremacist support when he was asked repeatedly on CNN if he would condemn the Klan and disavow support from white supremacists, including David Duke, a former Klan grand wizard from Louisiana.

Trump said that he had been hampered by a faulty earpiece during the CNN interview.

On the Democratic side, front-runner Hillary Clinton alluded to the country’s divisions on Monday after a landslide victory on Saturday in South Carolina’s primary shifted her attention from party rival Bernie Sanders to the candidate she may end up facing in November.

“I don’t think America ever stopped being great,” she told supporters in Massachusetts, adding a twist to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. “What we need to do now is make America whole.”

  • HonestAbe__3

    ON BEHALF OF DONALD TRUMP (ex officio). Much more than a con-man,
    please understand that “The Donald” is a giant distortion mirror. His character
    disorder includes viewing reality as a TV Show. Here’s a question as relates to
    this article:

    Trump appeared to relish the discord, saying after the
    turmoil in the crowd that his rallies were more exciting than those of the
    other candidates: “But it is fun, and exciting.”

    Here’s the question: Can you imagine Lincoln, Jefferson.
    Washington, Reagan, Kennedy or Eisenhower finding it “fun and exciting” to create
    discord, mob anger and turmoil among Americans?! “fun and exciting”??

    Trump is self-involved and vain to the extent that he
    watches real life events as-if from outside, like a fun and exciting TV series.
    No one in their right mind would day that, no one! He is a kind of madman with blurred lines
    between Reality-TV and real life.

    It is said that you never know where he will come from. That
    is because he distorts reality. It is a side effect of his deranged, yes,
    deranged, larger-than-life bully persona. The Trump brand is a mental illness
    that has taken over the Republican mind during these difficult times for which there
    is no magic bullet and no mentally disturbed savior.

  • HonestAbe__3

    ON BEHALF OF DONALD TRUMP (ex officio). Much more than a con-man,
    please understand that “The Donald” is a giant distortion mirror. His character
    disorder includes viewing reality as a TV Show. Here’s a question as relates to
    this article:

    Trump appeared to relish the discord, saying after the
    turmoil in the crowd that his rallies were more exciting than those of the
    other candidates: “But it is fun, and exciting.”

    Here’s the question: Can you imagine Lincoln, Jefferson.
    Washington, Reagan, Kennedy or Eisenhower finding it “fun and exciting” to create
    discord, mob anger and turmoil among Americans?! “fun and exciting”??

    Trump is self-involved and vain to the extent that he
    watches real life events as-if from outside, like a fun and exciting TV series.
    No one in their right mind would day that, no one! He is a kind of madman with blurred lines
    between Reality-TV and real life.

    It is said that you never know where he will come from. That
    is because he distorts reality. It is a side effect of his deranged, yes,
    deranged, larger-than-life bully persona. The Trump brand is a mental illness
    that has taken over the Republican mind during these difficult times for which there
    is no magic bullet and no mentally disturbed savior.

  • Dexter Hexter

    Those disrupting a gathering need to be prosecuted for disorderly conduct! When Chris Christie becomes A.G. their won’y be that kind of disorderly conduct because Christie isn’t a wimp! Make America Great & Safe Again!

    • johnrf

      So Trump and Christie are going to revoke our right of free speech? Thanks, good to know. Make America Hate Again. Any other rights you Trumpsters want to see taken away? Let’s see: Freedom of the press has gotta go, Trump and his brown shirts hate the press. Freedom of religion. Trump wants to discriminate against all Muslims. He plans to ignore the Geneva Convention and torture the families of terrorists. Yes, he’ll make America hate again. You betcha…

    • J.P. Bunny

      “Make America Great Again.” Again….referring to which period in time might this be? Just after WWII when only the U.S. had the bomb? Manifest Destiny when the U.S. was in Empire Mode, and woe betide anyone that got in the way? Maybe a previous time when women couldn’t vote, non-whites were less than human, industry could pollute to its heart’s content, and consumer products were completely unregulated? An empty slogan for empty minds.

  • Dexter Hexter

    Those disrupting a gathering need to be prosecuted for disorderly conduct! When Chris Christie becomes A.G. their won’y be that kind of disorderly conduct because Christie isn’t a wimp! Make America Great & Safe Again!

  • Dexter Hexter

    Unlike 0’Vomit, Trump will be a President for all America and provide jobs for all who want to work! The work-free welfare like is going to end for able-bodied folks.

    • johnrf

      Funniest comment yet. President for all white male Americans. You can’t really think that he plans to be a president to those of Mexican heritage, Muslims, blacks, etc. He’s a racist just like his old man. Are you against racism? Or are you a Trump supporter? Can’t be both..

  • Street Detective

    Lying “news” b@st@rds. The old long haired commie hippie Time “reporter” attacked the secret service agent FIRST. Fvck him and FVCK you too.

    • johnrf

      Do you have any facts to back up your obnoxious and silly comment? I didn’t think so. You sound like a typical Trumpster. Don’t forget to vote on December first…

  • Street Detective

    who the FVCK are you—you little liberal democvnt….

  • johnrf

    Not hard to understand where Trump’s racism comes from. His dad was arrested at a KKK rally in 1927, as a supporter of the klan. We should all be ashamed that this reality tv star has risen to this point.

    • http://stevethefish.net Steve The Fish

      My great, great grandfather fought for the Union Army in the Civil War to end slavery. His grandson, who was my grandfather, was a horrible racist. Here I am, living in Japan, married to a J-girl. So just because his father had a past, it doesn’t mean that Trump is some secret Klansman. The media are so quick to associate Trump with the KKK and the likes of David Duke, who isn’t even a member of the KKK anymore, and completely drool all over former KKK wizard Senator Robert Byrd and how Hillary has slobbered over that man. The man even continued to use the N word while in office, but Democrats were always so quick to defend him. If Byrd had been a Republican, he’d have been crucified for the things he said.

      Plenty of politicians have complained about illegal immigration, but Trump has the only solution that would work. Building a wall isn’t totalitarianism. The Berlin Wall was built to keep East Germans trapped inside communist misery. A Mexican wall would be built to keep criminals and drugs out. Trump is the only one who has the guts to state the obvious connection between Muslims and terrorism. Trump’s the only one willing to say something about the elephant in the room, and people are painting him out to be a racist. The Black Lives Matter hate group has tried crashing Bernie Sanders’s speeches too. ALL lives matter. People are sick of the BLM hatemongers and are realizing that it’s just smokescreen for genuine police brutality.