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Trump gives supporters permission to be violent with protesters: If you hurt them I’ll defend you in court

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Physical violence at rallies for presidential contender Donald Trump have become a troubling trend — and perhaps it persists because the GOP front runner does nothing to stop it from happening.

This was reinforced Friday when Trump insinuated he even enjoys it. According to CBS New York, Trump told an audience in Michigan that a melee between a protester and rally-goers in New Hampshire was “really amazing to watch.”

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Trump, who is currently the controversial front runner, told his audience he was tired of “political correctness” when it came to handling frequent protests at his campaign events. When interrupted by another protester, he again seemed to encourage violence.

“Get him out,” Trump said according to CBS. “Try not to hurt him. If you do I’ll defend you in court.”

Then he said, “Are Trump rallies the most fun? We’re having a good time.”

Trump said a protester started “swinging and punching” when rally-goers “took him out.”

“It was really amazing to watch,” he said.

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Trump was recently criticized for an incident this week in which a young African-American woman was roughly shoved, screamed at and called names by Trump supporters, including members of a white nationalist group.

Two other women also said they were attacked by Trump supporters at the rally. Police are investigating several instances of violence.

Watch video of Trump’s comments, as posted to YouTube, here:

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Here’s why Mike Pompeo picked the worst possible moment for his expletive-laden anti-Ukraine rant

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By all accounts, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's interview with "All Things Considered" host Mary Louise Kelly was a disaster. He reportedly swore at her, challenged her to pick Ukraine off an unmarked map, and said "Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?" — an incredibly insulting statement for America's top diplomat to say of an allied foreign country.

But as Politico noted, the timing of all this was especially ill-considered, because Pompeo is gearing up for an official visit to Ukraine — and even before this outburst, that visit was fraught with difficulties.

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Pompeo ridiculed by CNN panel for his ‘phony mock outrage’ response after being outed as a foul-mouthed bully

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Responding to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued through the State Department accusing an NPR journalist of being "shameless" for going public with an encounter she had with him in his offices where he cursed at her, a CNN panel all but rolled their eyes at his "phony" outrage.

Speaking with host Anderson Cooper, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called out the blustery Pompeo as well as many Republicans who took "umbrage" at Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) mentioning a report that the Donald Trump would have their heads on "on a pike" if they crossed him.

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So much for ‘originalism’ — Trump’s impeachment defense is a constitutional dumpster fire

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In the absence of any exculpatory evidence, Donald Trump's defense against impeachment increasingly relies on arguments that fly directly in the face of the Constitution. Trump himself set the standard last July with his grandiose claim that "Article II says I can do anything I want," which encountered no serious pushback from his fellow Republicans.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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