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.”

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate