Donald Trump Threatens Bernie Sanders With An Ominous Warning
Despite a number of angry and violent clashes marring his weekend campaign plans, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump showed no signs of abandoning his inflammatory rhetoric Sunday. Before many had even poured their first cup of coffee, Trump was threatening Bernie Sanders with his supporters via Twitter.
In a tweet published early Sunday morning, Trump accused Sanders of lying about encouraging his supporters to protest at Trump rallies and campaign events before issuing a schoolyard-style threat in which he told Sanders to "be careful," or else. "Bernie Sanders is lying when he says his disruptors aren't told to go to my events," Trump tweeted. "Be careful Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours!"
Trump was forced to cancel his rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion at the last minute on Friday after several weeks of minor attacks on protesters and journalists finally came to a head, resulting in aggressive clashes and confrontations between protesters and Trump supporters in and outside the event hall just prior to the event. While speaking in Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday, Trump claimed Friday's violence was the result of "a planned attack" organized by the supporters of "our communist friend" who "taunted" and "harassed" Trump supporters.
"Bernie, he should really get up and say to his people, 'Stop!'" Buzzfeed reports Trump said. Sanders denied accusations his campaign organized anti-Trump protests in a statement put out Saturday that said the only person to blame for the violence was Trump.
"Obviously, while I appreciate that we had supporters at Trump's rally in Chicago, our campaign did not organize the protests," Sanders said. "What caused the protests at Trump's rally is a candidate that has promoted hatred and division against Latinos, Muslims, women, and people with disabilities ... What caused the violence at Trump's rally is a campaign whose words and actions have encouraged it on the part of his supporters. He recently said of a protester, 'I want to punch him in the face.' Another time Trump yearned for the old days when the protester would have been punched and 'carried out on a stretcher.'"
Sanders, whose grassroots political career began with civil rights activism in the 1960s, chided Trump for failing to recognize others' First Amendment rights. "In America, people have a right to attend a political rally without fear of physical harm," he said.
Aside from his fervent supporters, Trump appears to stand largely alone in claims he's done nothing to incite or condone the violence that has become synonymous with his campaign. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Trump's Republican rival Ted Cruz both went on record over the weekend saying the real estate mogul was responsible for creating a campaign fueled on division, anger, and violence.
With Trump continuing to charge full steam ahead with his Us vs. Them rhetoric, issuing thinly-veiled threats and invitations for violence from one side of his mouth while the other claims to have never condoned violence, the question becomes not "will this happen again?" but "when?"