Date
21 January 2017
Protesters line the sides of the road as supporters of Donald Trump arrive for a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sunday. Photo: AFP
Protesters line the sides of the road as supporters of Donald Trump arrive for a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sunday. Photo: AFP

Trump blasts rally protesters: I don’t hear their voice

Donald Trump refused to take responsibility Sunday for clashes at his campaign events, Reuters reports.

The Republican front-runner in the race to become US president criticized protesters who have dogged his rallies and, he says, forced him to cancel one in Chicago last week.

When a protester interrupted his speech Sunday at an airport hangar in Bloomington, Illinois, minutes after it began, Trump derided him as a “disrupter” and told the cheering crowd: “Don’t worry about it — I don’t hear their voice.”

“Our rallies are so big and we have so many people, I never hear their voices,” the billionaire property developer and former reality television star said.

“I only hear our people’s voices saying: ‘There they are, there they are.’”

The audience roared its approval as about 2,000 protesters waited outside.

Trump is trying to cement his lead over his remaining rivals — US senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida and Ohio governor John Kasich — in five states that hold presidential nominating contests Tuesday for Republicans and Democrats: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.

The four Republicans and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are vying to run in the Nov. 8 election to succeed President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

Trump used a round of Sunday morning television appearances to beat back strong criticism from Republican rivals and Democrats that he was encouraging discord with divisive language disparaging Muslims and illegal immigrants.

“I don’t accept responsibility. I do not condone violence in any shape,” Trump said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

Trump defended his supporters and said he was considering helping to pay the legal fees of a 78-year-old white man who punched a young black man at a Trump rally in North Carolina last week.

The attacker, Trump said, “got carried away”.

John McGraw was charged with assault and later with communicating a threat after he said he enjoyed hitting “that loudmouth” and threatened next time “to kill him”.

Trump had earlier promised to help cover the legal fees of supporters involved in clashes at his rallies.

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