Donald Trump Conveniently Forgets He Promised to Pay His Violent Supporters’ Legal Fees


Donald Trump has backed off from his pledge to pay the legal fees of supporters who attack protesters at his rallies—a reversal that has come after a Trump supporter sucker-punched a protester in the face at a rally in North Carolina last week.

“I don’t condone violence,” Trump told Good Morning America‘s George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday. “I didn’t say I would pay for his fees.”

“So you’re not going to?” Stephanopoulos asked, pressing the Republican front-runner on how he could reconcile paying for such legal fees with his own claim of being a peaceful person.

“Nobody has asked for fees and I haven’t even seen it so I never said I was going to pay for fees,” Trump said.

These statements come amid intense condemnation over the escalating violence at several chaotic Trump rallies last week.

But the real estate magnate seems to have forgotten the times he has publicly vowed to cover the legal fees his supporters might incur when roughing up protesters.

“So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of him, would you?” he told a crowd in Iowa in February. “Seriously, okay, just knock the hell. I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees; I promise, I promise.”

As recently as this past Sunday, Trump appeared to stand by his previous statements, telling Meet the Press he had directed his staff to see about covering the legal expenses for the man who attacked a protester at the rally in North Carolina. That, however, no longer appears to be the case.

“I’m going to make a decision,” he said on Tuesday. “But I certainly don’t condone violence and maybe you’re right and maybe that’s why I wouldn’t do it.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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