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  Meet the Press  NBC  March 13, 2016 8:04am-8:14am PDT

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front-runner donald trump. mr. trump, welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> good morning. >> i got to start with what's been happening over the last 48 to 72 hours. do you accept any responsibility whatsoever for the escalated tension that takes place at your rallies? >> well, i think if anything a lot of people have praised me for canceling the one rally. we had 25,000 people coming, we got a lot of them not to come through notice. and the rest of them we canceled because we had disrupters out there. they weren't really protesters, they were disrupters, like professionals. they had bernie sanders signs all over the place and made by bernie sanders people. these were professionally made signs. and rather than going, which i could have done pretty easily, i would have gone, made a speech, you would have had an awfully big riot and a lot of people would have been hurt. and i've been given a lot of credit for not going. and everybody disbursed and nobody was injured or hurt or beyond that. >> okay. but earlier in the week there
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was an incident between a supporter of yours and a protester. and i want to play a piece of sound from a couple weeks ago from you and ask you about it on the other side. >> there's a guy totally disruptive throwing punches. i love the old days. you know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? they'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks. like to punch him in the face, i'll tell ya. >> mr. trump, 17 days later that actually happened. one of your supporters decided to sucker punch a protester. do you accept any responsibility for creating this atmosphere? >> i don't accept responsibility. i do not condone violence in any shape. and i will tell you from what i saw the young man stuck his finger up in the air and the other man sort of just had it. but i still i don't condone violence. as far as my previous statement, we had somebody that was
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punching and vicious and gone crazy, a disrupter. they're not protesters. i'm telling you, they're disrupters. they're professionals. he went absolutely wild punching. and frankly, when they punch, it's okay. when my people punch back because they have to out of self-defense, everybody says, oh, isn't that terrible. the fact is that we have very peaceful rallies. i've had many, many rallies -- i have 25 -- 30,000 people coming to rallies. and out of that we have very little problem. we haven't had a real injury or anything. and then chicago i canceled and i did a great thing by canceling it because who needs the problems, who needs people getting hurt? i didn't want that. >> but when you say -- >> so instead of getting -- >> but mr. trump, when you say you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knocked crap out of them. i promise i'll pay for your legal fees. how is that not condoning what this older general m eer gentles
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protester? >> let me explain what happened. i was told by the secret service, sir, there's a person -- or two people in the audience that have tomatoes. they are going to throw them at you, we think. if they do throw them, you have to be prepared. now, you get hit in the face with a tomato, let me tell you somebody with a strong arm at least, let me tell you it can be very damaging. not good. so i was told people were in the audience -- two people with tomatoes that they're going to throw them at me. what i did is say, by the way, if you see anybody with tomat s tomatoes, right at the beginning. >> yeah. >> you got to stop them. do whatever you have to do. i have no objection to what i said. i would say it again. people are there doing harm, you have to go and you have to use equal force. >> do you plant -- >> it's not fair. it's a one way street. >> i'm curious, do you plan on paying for the legal fees of this older gentleman who punched the protester? >> i want to see what that young man was doing.
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he was very taunting. he was very loud. very disruptive. and from what i understand he was sticking a certain finger up in the air. and that is a terrible thing to do in front of somebody that, frankly, wants to see america made great again. and so we'll see. i'm going to take a look at it. >> and that condones -- and that condones a sucker punch though? >> no, as i told you before, nothing condones. but i want to see. the man got carried away. he was 78 years old. he obviously loves this country. and maybe he doesn't like seeing what's happening to the country. i want to see the full tape. >> so you might pay for his legal fees? >> i -- well, i'm going to look at it. i'm going to see what was behind this because it was a strange event. but from what i heard there was a -- you know, there was a lot of taunting and a certain finger was placed in the air. not nice. again, i don't condone the violence. i don't condone what he did, but you know what -- >> so it's possible -- it's possible you could help him with legal fees if this man needs it?
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>> i've actually instructed my people to look into it, yes. >> okay. i want to ask you about the moment yesterday in dayton. looked like a scary moment being rushed to the stage. i want to ask you, you said it was -- you praised the secret service, but then you said the man had ties to isis. turned out to be a hoax. did you go over the top there on that? where did you -- >> no, no. he was -- if you look on the internet, if you look into clips -- >> turned out to be a hoax. somebody made that up, sir. >> he had talk -- well, i don't know what they made up. all i can do is play what's there. he was walking dragging the american flag on the ground. is that a correct statement? was that a hoax too? >> well, that -- >> was he just dragging it along? >> i'm talking about the isis tweet. >> you didn't see the clip. >> we're playing the clip right now. >> you didn't see the clip. he was playing arabic music. he was dragging the flag along the ground and he had internet chatter with isis and about
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isis. so i don't know if he was or not, but all we did was put out what he had on his internet. he's dragging the flag, the american flag, which i respect obviously more than you. he was dragging the american flag on the ground like it was a piece of garbage. okay. i don't like that. and a lot of people don't like that. and he also had chatter about isis or with isis. and you take a look at it. i mean, people are looking at it very seriously now, but you have to check it before you ask the question. >> we have checked it, that's my point, sir. there's no ties to isis for this man. no law enforcement official. and this video that you link to appears to be a hoax. >> okay. well, was it a hoax that he's dragging the flag? was that him? it looked like the same man to me. he was dragging a flag along the ground. and he was playing a certain type of music. and supposedly there was chatter about isis. now, i don't know. what do i know about it? all i know is what's on the internet. and i don't like to see a man dragging the american flag along
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the ground in a mocking fashion. >> all right. i want to -- marco rubio said some pretty tough things about you yesterday. i want to play it and get you to react to it on the other side. >> he doesn't want to say anything to his supporters because he doesn't want to turn them off. because he understands the reason why they are voting for him is because he's tapped into this anger. when the person you're supporting for president is going around saying things like go ahead and slap him around, i'll pay your legal fees, what do you think's going to happen next? someone's going to actually literally believe it and take it upon themselves. >> marco rubio right? are you afraid to tell your supporters to back off? >> look, first of all, marco rubio has the worst voting record in the united states senate in many, many years. he doesn't even show up to vote. he's defrauded the people of florida. he won't even show up to vote. and i want to tell you, for him to be talking like that is absolutely a shame. i have great support. i have great supporters far greater than you understand. the fact is if you look at the -- if you look at the polls going in for the primaries.
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>> yeah. >> if you look -- and the caucuses. we're up 65% and 70%. some are up 102%. millions and millions of people are energized. they're going and voting. by the way, that's not for marco rubio and not for lying ted cruz, that's for trump. they're there voting for trump. >> okay. >> because they want to see america be made great again. >> i understand that. but i want to button this up a little bit. this violence on the campaign trail, it's got a lot of people concerned. and i guess, why won't you go up on stage and ratchet it back? you've used rhetoric about islam hates us, surveillance of certain mosques, calling mexican immigrants rapists. what did you expect? a lot of people say you're reaping what you sow here, that the reason you have so much violence at rallies is you use the rhetoric. >> the reason there's tension at my rallies is that these people are sick and tired of this country being run by incompetent people that don't know what they're doing on trade deals where our jobs are being ripped
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out of our country, chuck. they're being ripped out. on isis where we can't even beat isis with our military. our military's not being taken care of. we can't even beat isis. on our vets who are being treated horribly, frankly they're being treated worse than illegal immigrants. the people are angry at that. they're not angry about something i'm saying. i'm just a messenger. the people are angry about the fact that for 12 years the workers in this country haven't had a pay increase, chuck, in 12 years they haven't had an effective pay increase. >> so you will not call for ratcheting back the rhetoric? you will not call for it? >> well, i haven't said anything that i'm just expressing my opinion. what have i said that's wrong? i mean, i talk about illegal immigration, i talk about building a wall, i say mexico's going to pay for the wall, which they will. and all of these things. i mean, what have i said that's wrong? you tell me. the fact is they're really upset with the way our country is being run. it's a disgrace. >> i will leave it there. mr. trump, stay safe on