- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Tuesday he doesn’t condone violence at all and that he’s had few difficulties at his events, while also conceding that covering the legal fees of a supporter who recently punched a protester at a rally might be seen by some as rewarding violence.

“I don’t think I should be toning it down, because I’ve had the biggest rallies of anybody, probably ever in terms of primaries, and there’s not even a contest,” Mr. Trump said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “And we have had very, very little difficulty. We closed down one in Chicago; other than that, I mean, we’ve had very, very little difficulty.”

“When you have 25- and even 35,000 people at these rallies, we’ve had very, very little difficulties,” he said.

A North Carolina sheriff’s office on Monday decided against charging Mr. Trump with inciting a riot over a recent attack against a protester at one of his rallies by John McGraw, 78, who had been charged with assault.

Asked for his reaction to law enforcement declining to pursue the charges, Mr. Trump said in a separate TV appearance: “I think it’s ridiculous.”

“I gave a speech; it was a really good speech — we had 20,000 people there,” he said on “Fox and Friends.” “I’ll tell you who they should charge are these horrible protesters that go in there just looking for trouble and these are people that are really, I mean — they’re agitators, they’re not even protesters.”

On ABC, Mr. Trump said he doesn’t condone violence.

“And I didn’t say I was going to pay for [his] fees,” Mr. Trump said. “I didn’t say that. I haven’t looked at it yet, and nobody’s asked me to pay for fees, and somebody asked me a question and I haven’t even seen it, so I never said I was going to pay for fees.”

Asked if paying such fees would be rewarding violence, Mr. Trump said: “Well, maybe so, and maybe that’s why I wouldn’t do it.”

“I don’t condone violence at all, and I looked and I watched, and I’m going to make a decision, but I certainly don’t condone violence, and maybe you’re right and maybe that’s why I wouldn’t do it,” he said.

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