The Cumberland County Sheriff’s office in Fayetteville NC said today that investigators are still examining evidence concerning the rally for Donald Trump that was held on March 9 in the city. It was there that a Trump supporter struck a man in the face who was being escorted out of the arena where the rally was taking place.
“We are continuing to look at the totality of these circumstances … including the potential of whether there was conduct on the part of Mr. Trump or the Trump campaign which rose to the level of inciting a riot,” the sheriff’s statement said today.
According to a Trump campaign spokesman, law enforcement has not contacted the campaign. Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said, “They have not reached out to us at all.”
The man who struck the protester has since been charged with assault, disorderly conduct and communicating threats after video showed that he struck the protester who was being escorted from the event. Trump said on March 12 at a Dayton OH rally that he is prepared to help the man with his legal bills.
During the Fayetteville rally, Trump said spoke of an earlier event in which a protester got into a fistfight with Trump supporters. Trump told the audience, “They started punching back. It was a beautiful thing.”
Trump's Republican rivals criticized the handling of protesters at the frontrunner's rallied. "I think a campaign bears responsibility for creating an environment, when the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence to punch people in the face," Sen. Ted Cruz said in Illinois. "The predictable consequence of that is that it escalates. And today is unlikely to be the last such instance...That's not how our politics should occur."
Sen. Marco Rubio was also critical of Trump's behavior. "There is only one presidential candidate who has violence at their events," the Florida senator said. "And I do think Donald needs to realize and take responsibility for the fact that some of the rhetoric he has used could be contributing to this environment that is growing increasingly disturbing for a number of Americans."
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