- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 5, 2016

The violence seen at recent Donald Trump rallies largely can be blamed on the Republican presidential candidate himself, Hillary Clinton charged Sunday, saying Mr. Trump created an environment in which unrest can thrive.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Mrs. Clinton unequivocally condemned all violence, but said Mr. Trump deserves the lion’s share of the blame and that anti-Trump demonstrators are merely responding in kind.

“I just want it to end. The police have a hard enough job making sure we’re able to gather and talk bout the issues facing our country,” Mrs. Clinton said. “And Trump has lowered the bar, and now is it a surprise that people who don’t like him are stepping over that low bar? I don’t think it is. He needs to condemn all violence by everyone. I already have, I will continue to do so.”

The anti-Trump violence, Mrs. Clinton suggested, is the natural backlash of Mr. Trump’s own comments. The billionaire reality TV star has, for example, said that he would pay the legal fees of supporters who beat up anti-Trump demonstrators and said that, in the good old days, hecklers would be taken out on stretchers.

He also once said of a protester, “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

As for the latest round of violence, Mr. Trump blamed it on Democrats, specifically supporters of Sen. Bernard Sanders.

“The people that are causing the problem, they’re not my people. They’re people that are outside. They’re thugs and they’re agitators,” he said Sunday. “They’re bad people. I think they’re sent by the Democrats. They have the Bernie signs.”

For his part, Mr. Sanders also condemned the violence.

“I condemn it, absolutely,” he told CNN Sunday morning. “I want to make it clear that any person who is a Bernie Sanders supporter — please do not, in any way, shape or form, engage in violence. That is not what this campaign is abut.”

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