Trump blames "professional agitators" for campaign violence

He reiterated his warning that there would be riots if the Republicans deny him the nomination.

(Photo: AP)
English 20/03/2016 18:49 Actualizada 18:53

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Sunday refused to condemn the numerous incidents of violence at his campaign rallies, saying "professional agitators" bore much of the blame.

Speaking on ABC’S "This Week," the billionaire said campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who apparently grabbed a protester at a Saturday rally in Arizona, had “spirit” and his actions were justified as the “police were a little bit lax.”

Television footage from the event showed a man punching and kicking a protester as he was led out of the event.

“At what point do people blame the protesters,” Trump said. “These are professional agitators. I think that somebody should say that when a road is blocked going into the event.”

Trump didn’t back down from his warning that there would be riots in the streets if the Republican Party denies him the nomination for the November election, despite his being the most popular candidate among Republican voters.

"I don't know what's going to happen, but I will say this, you're going to have a lot of unhappy people," he said. "I don't want to see riots, I don't want to see problems. But you're talking about millions of people."

Senior figures in the party are openly plotting to block Trump from becoming the nominee as they view him as insufficiently conservative and a potential disaster in a general election.

The New York businessman's rallies have been frequently interrupted by protesters. The 69-year-old candidate has sometimes encouraged his supporters to use violence on protesters, and on at least one occasion has said that he would like to punch a protester himself.

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