MSNBC host Rachel Maddow argued on Friday that the unrest surrounding Donald Trump’s cancelled campaign rally in Chicago has its roots in political science.
“When you look at the way that Mr. Trump has been talking about the organic existence of both protesters against him and violence toward those protesters at his event, when you look at the way that he has encouraged it in an escalating way leading to this inevitable event tonight in Chicago, I think that it is impossible to say that this is an accident,” she said.
Trump said the rally was canceled because of concerns over attendees’ safety while also claiming that he did not mean to provoke violence at his events. But local police said in a statement on Friday night that they neither told him there was a safety issue inside the venue at the University of Illinois-Chicago nor that he should postpone the rally.
The Republican front-runners’ remarks also run counter to documented instances where his supporters have attacked non-violent demonstrators. Maddow said Trump’s rhetoric matches “a classic strong man political tactic” more commonly seen in other countries.
“Violence at these events, which may start organically, is in effect spot lit and encouraged to the point where it becomes something that is legitimately out of control of anyone,” she explained. “And then the spectacle of political violence is itself seen as something that is a problem that needs to be solved by this strongman character who incited the initial event in the first place.”
Watch Maddow’s commentary, as posted by Media Matters on Friday, below.