Donald Trump said police should consider charging protesters who disrupt his campaign rallies.
The Cumberland County, North Carolina, Sheriff's Office considered charging the Republican presidential candidate with inciting a riot after one of his supporters sucker-punched a black protester who was being escorted last week out of a Fayetteville rally -- but decided there wasn't enough evidence to proceed.
Trump appeared Tuesday morning on "Fox and Friends," where he dismissed the possible criminal charge as "ridiculous."
"I gave a speech, it was a really good speech, we had 20,000 people there -- standing ovation," Trump said. "I tell you who they should charge are these horrible protesters that just go in there looking for trouble, and these are people that really -- I mean, they're agitators, they're not even protesters -- and they stand up and they scream and they shout, and frankly, sometimes they start punching -- and those people really should be charged."
John McGraw, 78, was charged with assault and disorderly conduct for punching Rakeem Jones, who was briefly detained by police after the attack -- and Trump has denied making a recorded suggestion that he could pay for his supporter's legal defense.
Trump claimed protesters came to his campaign events alone in hopes of starting fights among the crowd -- which he likes to brag can number between 25,000 and 35,000 people.
"You know, we rent an area -- we have great people there, people that want to make America great again -- that's why they're there," Trump said. "You know, make America great again, and they're there for that reason, and then you have these guys that stand up, oftentimes just singles because they can't get enough people with them, and it's really a disgrace, I'll be honest."
As he spoke, Fox News ran regular-speed video of Jones being escorted up area steps by police and then slugged by McGraw. A second clip of the same video then aired at slow speed, showing the dreadlocked Jones raising his arms to taunt jeering Trump supporters, but that video was stopped just before McGraw stepped forward to punch him without warning.
"It's a disgrace, and everyone is distracted, everyone is agitated, they get very upset about it," Trump continued. "They really should look into it, because these people -- I don't know if they're professional agitators or what, but it's a disgrace that they're allowed to come in and do what they do."
Fox host Steve Doocy brought up a Jan. 6 incident, when a Marco Rubio supporter grabbed a heckler by the shoulders from behind and slammed him to the ground -- and he asked Trump if scant coverage of that attack was evidence of a double standard.
"There is a total double standard -- I saw that," Trump said. "If that ever took place at my place, I would have been given the electric chair."
Watch the entire segment posted online by Fox News: