Donald Trump dismissed criticism Sunday that he’s fueling the violence at his campaign rallies, saying he’s “just the messenger” for Americans’ festering frustration and urged campaign supporters in Illinois to “give me two years” to turn around the country.
“We have protesters so mean. They are so bad,” the front-running GOP presidential candidate said at an outdoor rally in Bloomington, Ill. “Our people started swinging back, and the next day we are the bad guys.”
Trump’s comments at the rally follow a weekend of campaign events marred by violence and increasing calls for him to acknowledge that his fiery campaign rhetoric has caused at least some of the problems.
Among the problems are arrests, clashes between supporters and protesters, a would-be stage crasher and the cancellation of a rally Friday night in Chicago.
Trump told “Fox News Sunday” and others that Americans are “angry” about years of stagnant wages, few jobs and other issues — including bad international trade deals and the lack of care for U.S. military veterans.
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