During today’s Meet the Press interview with Chuck Todd, Donald Trump repeatedly denied that his rallies incite violence, even suggesting that he has people looking into the need to help pay the legal fees of a supporter who sucker punched a black protester earlier this week.
Trump’s refrain in response to the rise of violence at his rallies seems to involve blaming the victim:
I do want to see what that young man was doing because he was very loud and very disruptive and from what I understand he was sticking a certain finger up in the air.
Based on several interviews Trump has given in the past two days, he is no doubt playing two sides. On the one hand, he portrays himself as someone who “doesn’t condone violence.” On the other hand, Trump avoids acknowledging the violence at his rallies for fear of upsetting his very vocal, racist supporters. He even goes so far as to justify the hostile actions of his supporters by attributing their “fervor” as a result of their intense “love of [their] country.”