Donald Trump surrogate Pastor Darrell Scott told CNN on Tuesday that he was not going to condemn the Republican presidential candidate’s desire to punch protesters in the face.
At a campaign event in Nevada on Monday, Trump had lashed out at a heckler, who he called “nasty as hell.”
“Here’s a guy, throwing punches, nasty as hell, screaming at everything else, when we’re talking,” Trump told his supporters. “The guards are very gentle with him. He’s walking out, like, big high-fives, smiling, laughing.”
“I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell ya,” he added.
CNN noted that there was no evidence that the man had acted violently.
“I know you’re a supporter of Trump,” CNN’s Poppy Harlow told Scott during a panel discussion on Tuesday. “You’re also a man of faith. Do you support that rhetoric, that language? Does it bother you at all?”
“What I don’t support is the behavior of the protester,” Scott replied.
“No,” Harlow interrupted. “I just want to ask you about the language of the man you’re supporting to be commander-in-chief. Do you support it?”
“I’m not going to say I support it; I’m not going to say I don’t support it,” Scott insisted. “It is what it is. Those are Trump’s feelings. I can’t dictate and determine how he feels about a situation.”
“Would I have handled it that way?” he asked. “I don’t know. I wasn’t in that situation. I don’t know what I would have said. But if I was trying to address a crowd at a meeting that I coordinated, and I had someone that continued to try to disrupt what I was saying, that they came to my meeting with bad intent then they would have to be dealt with.”
Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast Feb. 23, 2016.