- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 13, 2016

Donald Trump is blaming Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders’ supporters for inciting protests and disruptions at his rallies, and vowed to send Trump supporters to Mr. Sanders’ campaign events to stir-up trouble if the senator continues to encourage his backers to disrupt Trump events.

“Bernie Sanders is lying when he says his disruptors aren’t told to go to my events,” Mr. Trump tweeted Sunday. “Be careful Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours!”

On Saturday, Mr. Trump blamed Mr. Sanders’ supporters for disrupting his Republican presidential nomination rally in Chicago, which he cancelled Friday night.

“Some represented Bernie, our communist friend,” Mr. Trump said of the Chicago protesters, at a Saturday event in Dayton, Ohio.

Later that day at a rally in Cleveland, Mr. Trump speculated where the protesters came from: “You know where they come from? Bernie’s crowd. They’re Bernie’s crowd.”

Mr. Sanders, who is vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, fought back Saturday, calling Mr. Trump a “pathological liar” and for the Republican front-runner to denounce the violence at his rallies.

MoveOn.org, a progressive group backed by billionaire George Soros, has endorsed Mr. Sanders for president and helped organize the Chicago protests against Mr. Trump.

However, on Saturday, Mr. Sanders minimized the connection and said his supporters were not to blame.

“I don’t think our supporters are inciting. What our supporters are doing is responding to a candidate who has, in fact, in many ways, encouraged violence,” Mr. Sanders said at a news conference in Chicago. “When he talks about … ‘I wish we were in the old days when you could punch somebody in the head.’ What do you think that says to his supporters?”

In a later statement, Mr. Sanders added: “As is the case virtually every day, Donald Trump is showing the American people that he is a pathological liar.”

Mr. Trump hasn’t backed down in defending his supporters. In a series of interviews on Saturday, the billionaire businessman said the people who attend his rallies are “taunted” and “harassed” by protesters.

“They want me to tell my people please be nice, be nice,” Mr. Trump said Saturday. “My people are nice.”

Mr. Trump said he was going to “start pressing charges” against the protesters who continually interrupt his events.

Following the canceled Chicago event, Mr. Trump endured countless interruptions Saturday on the campaign trail in Ohio and Missouri.

“I hope they arrest these people, because honestly they should be,” Mr. Trump said. “The only way to stop the craziness is to press charges.”

At his rally in Dayton, a man rushed the stage and tried to grab Mr. Trump before he was removed “rapidly and professionally” by Secret Service officers, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said.

Saturday night Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus issued a statement saying he hopes all Americans could express their First Amendment rights in a way that is respectful to everybody.

“As we go further along in this election cycle, I ask those on my side of the political spectrum and those on the left to engage actively in the political process in a manner that continues to make our democracy the envy of the rest of the world,” Mr. Priebus said. “Leaders and activists in both parties bear a responsibility to ensure that the discourse we engage in promotes the best of America.”

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