Conservative Media Are Making Violent Anti-Trump Protests Clinton’s Responsibility

Clinton Campaign Has Denounced Anti-Trump Violence, While Trump Himself Has Regularly Instigated Violence

Right-wing media figures are calling on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to condemn violence that broke out at presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign rally, ignoring that her campaign denounced the violence the night of the protests. Conservative media figures previously defended Trump when violent protests broke out at his rallies, despite many major media outlets noting that Trump’s rhetoric has incited and encouraged the violence.

Violent Protests Erupt Outside Of Trump Rally

Protesters Clashed With Trump Supporters At Trump Campaign Stop. On June 2 a Donald Trump rally in San Jose, California, “was marred by violence” as “scuffles broke out between [Trump’s foes] and Trump supporters,” ABC News reported, some of which “were physical, resulting in bloody injuries.” [ABC News, 6/3/16]

Conservative Media Figures Demand Clinton Denounce Violent Protests

Fox’s Peter Johnson Jr.: Clinton “Needs To Speak Up” As Her “Rhetoric” About Trump Could Be “Propelling This Kind Of Violence.” Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. demanded that Clinton “speak up” about the protests and “say that this kind of conduct is deplorable, despicable,” after suggesting that “the kind of rhetoric that we're hearing yesterday from Hillary Clinton” could be “propelling this kind of violence.” From the June 3 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

AINSLEY EARHARDT (HOST): So the men, the security guards, are holding the doors closed at the Marriott hotel. You've got this girl on the outside of the door surrounded by this mob of protesters and they're yelling at her, they're throwing eggs at her. When I watched it this morning I was fearful for her.

PETER JOHNSON JR.: Yeah. And I join that this morning. I turned you folks on and I saw that, and I said, is there a breakdown of order in America? Have we lost all sense of proportion or standards? Is the rhetoric, the kind of rhetoric that we're hearing yesterday from Hillary Clinton propelling this kind of violence, this kind of conduct? Hillary Clinton gave a speech yesterday in which she basically said Donald Trump was a racist, a madman, a dangerous person, and capable of committing murder. And so when a presumptive Democratic candidate is engaging in that kind of language, is the effect of that to see violence in the streets like this? So we need to do two things. People like that need to be caught, convicted, and canned. So the police need to act. If they haven't been acting, then they need to act today because this can't go on anymore. Second point, Hillary Clinton needs to speak up. Hillary Clinton needs to say that this kind of conduct is deplorable, despicable, un-American and can't go forward in this country. I really have bad feelings this morning that somehow this is an omen for the next six months in terms of this campaign. And so there needs to be Bernie Sanders speaking out. The head of the Democratic Party speaking out, the chairwoman. Hillary Clinton speaking out and saying, “W e can't have this. I disagree with Donald Trump on about a thousand things,” she can say, “but we can't have this.” This is essentially un-American. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/3/16]

Fox's Geraldo Rivera: The Violence “Must Be Condemned By Clinton And All Of Their Surrogates.” Fox senior correspondent Geraldo Rivera said that the violence at Trump's rally “must be condemned by Trump ... must be condemned by Clinton and all of their surrogates,” and added, “the leadership must come from the top.” From the June 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

GERALDO RIVERA: But this is going to be -- I'm telling you, and I'm warning you, ladies and gentleman, listen to what I have to say here -- this is going to be the most intensely racial election we’ve ever had. It's going to be white people versus everybody else with these anarchists, these young white anarchists exacerbating the tension. It's going to be terrible. Everybody's got to cool down. Cool it. If you want your man to win or your woman to win, the last thing you want is this kind of --

BRIAN KILMEADE (HOST): Then the leadership has got to come from them then.

RIVERA: The leadership must come from the top. It must be condemned by Trump. It must be condemned by Clinton and all of their surrogates. Make no bones about it. If you are throwing stuff or intimidating stuff or hitting someone, you are not for me, you are against me. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/3/16]

Fox’s Erick Erickson: “Hillary Clinton Needs To Forcefully Condemn This.” Fox contributor and radio host Erick Erickson wrote that Clinton “needs to forcefully condemn” the violent protests “just as [she] demanded Donald Trump denounce his supporters’ behavior months ago.” From a June 3 article from The Resurgent:

This is unacceptable violence. Donald Trump did nothing last night to provoke this behavior. The lady in question did nothing to provoke this behavior. It is unacceptable.

In the past twenty-four hours, Democrats have begun targeting prominent donors to Donald Trump for public shaming and have now started assaulting Trump supporters.

Hillary Clinton and, frankly, Bernie Sanders need to forcefully condemn this behavior just as they demanded Donald Trump denounce his supporters’ behavior months ago. [The Resurgent, 6/3/16]

Conservative Pundit John Nolte: “Will The Shit [Mainstream Media] Pressure Hillary & Bernie To Condemn The Violence Against Trump Supporters?”

 [Twitter, 6/3/16]

Rush Limbaugh: Clinton’s “Rhetoric Caused This” Violence. Rush Limbaugh asserted that Hillary Clinton’s “rhetoric caused this” violence against Trump supporters, asking “Why is nobody blaming Hillary for this violence?” From the June 3 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:

RUSH LIMBAUGH (HOST): Why is nobody blaming Hillary [Clinton] for this violence? Why is nobody blaming the media? But after all, Hillary gave the greatest speech of her career. You will hear drive-bys analyze it that way coming up. And what it was, it wasn't a foreign policy speech. It was an attack on [Donald] Trump. So she goes out. She attacks Trump in every which way possible. And then her supporters go out and attack innocent people. I mean the way they play this, we can say her rhetoric caused this. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/3/16]

Clinton Campaign Denounced Violence The Night Of The Protests

Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta: “Violence Against Supporters Of Any Candidate Has No Place In This Election.”

 [Twitter, 6/2/16]

Media Figures Have Previously Called Out Trump For “Creating This Hostile Atmosphere” At His Events

Fox's Chris Wallace: “The Record Is Clear ... You Have Condoned Violence In Rally After Rally.” During the March 13 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace called out Donald Trump for inciting violence at his rallies, stating “the record is clear. And we're going to put up some tapes. You have condoned violence in rally after rally.” [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 3/13/16]

ABC's Jonathan Karl: “I Have Never Seen A Situation Where You Have The Candidate Himself From The Podium Encouraging, Even Condoning Violence.” On the March 13 edition of ABC's This Week, ABC chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl noted that he had “never seen a situation where you have the candidate himself from the podium encouraging, even condoning violence.” Karl continued that he feared “that this could actually get worse” and that Trump is not going in a direction of “unifying the country.” [ABC, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, 3/13/16]

The Atlantic: “Trump Encourages The Crowd To Vent Its Fury At The Protesters.” In a March 10 article, Atlantic staff writer David Graham pointed out that at his events, “Trump encourages the crowd to vent its fury at the protesters. 'See, in the good old days this didn't use to happen, because they used to treat them very rough,” he said. “We've become very weak.'” [The Atlantic, 3/10/16]

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell: “We've Never Seen A Presidential Candidate Encourage Violence, But Trumpism Has Changed Everything.” On the March 10 edition of MSNBC's The Last Word, host Lawrence O'Donnell said of Trump, “We've never seen a presidential candidate encourage violence, but Trumpism has changed everything.” O'Donnell juxtaposed the language of a man who punched a protester to Trump's, pointing out that Trump had “discussed killing people who don't agree with him, thought about it on TV for a moment, and then decided not to do it.” [MSNBC, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 3/10/16]

CNN's Chris Cuomo: Trump's Comments About Protesters Are “Sending A Dangerous Message.” On the March 11 edition of CNN's New Day, Chris Cuomo explained that comments Trump has made like “I want to punch that guy in the face” are “sending a dangerous message.” Cuomo also questioned whether Trump does enough “to discourage the kind of ugliness” that has been seen at his events. [CNN, New Day, 3/11/16]

ABC's Matthew Dowd: Trump Has “Some Accountability” For “Creating A Culture” Of Violence At Rallies. On the March 11 edition of ABC's Good Morning America, political analyst Matthew Dowd pointed out that Trump and his campaign have been “creating a culture or an environment” where violence at rallies can occur and that “there is some accountability that he and his campaign have” for the violence that takes place at his events. [ABC, Good Morning America, 3/11/16]

Huffington Post: Trump Is Making Violent Episodes At Events “Part Of His Brand, And Uses Them To Rev Up Crowds.” In a March 10 article, The Huffington Post reported that “racial slurs, nasty rhetoric and violence” at Trump's events “have become commonplace against protesters, bystanders, and reporters.” The article explained that “rather than denounce these incidents, Trump is making them part of his brand and uses them to rev up crowds.” [The Huffington Post, 3/10/16]

Chuck Todd: Trump's Language Is “Creating This Hostile Atmosphere” At His Rallies. On the March 11 edition of NBC's Today, NBC political director and host of Meet the Press Chuck Todd said Trump's language, including moments where he spoke about “punching people in the face,” contributes to “creating this hostile atmosphere ” where violence occurs. [NBC,Today, 3/11/16]

Mike Barnicle: “Trump's Rhetoric Emboldens The Crowd” To Act Violently. On the March 11 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, columnist Mike Barnicle explained that during his rallies, “Donald Trump's rhetoric emboldens the crowd” to lash out violently. [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 3/11/16]

Vox: “The Problem With Violence At Trump Rallies Starts With Trump Himself.” In a March 11 article with the subhed, “Trump is not just condoning violence. He is encouraging it,” Vox's Dara Lind wrote, “the fact remains that [Trump] has consistently encouraged rallygoers to beat up protesters” and justified their actions by citing their "'passion' for his campaign and America.” [Vox, 3/11/16]

Rachel Maddow: Trump Has “Continued Egging On His Supporters” To Incite Violence.On the March 10 edition of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, host Rachel Maddow explained that after a  violent incident at one of his rallies, Trump continued his pattern of ”egging on his supporters to do this kind of thing.” [MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show, 3/10/16]

CBS' John Dickerson: Someone Being Punched At A Trump Rally “Doesn't Seem Out Of Step” With Trump's Violent Rhetoric. On the March 11 edition of CBS This Morning, CBS political director and Face the Nation moderator John Dickerson pointed out that at Trump's rallies, “when protesters pop up, he talks about how he would like to hit them, how in the old days they would have been taken out in a stretcher.” Dickerson explained that “someone being sucker-punched” at a Trump rally “doesn't seem out of step” with his rhetoric. [CBS, CBS This Morning, 3/11/16]

MSNBC'S Chris Hayes: Violence At Trump Rallies Comes With “A Wink And A Nudge, If Not More From The Candidate Himself.” On the March 11 edition of MSNBC's All In, host Chris Hayes explained that violence at Trump's rallies is often accompanied by “a wink and a nudge, if not more from the candidate himself.” [MSNBC, All In with Chris Hayes, 3/10/16]

WSJ Editorial Board: Trump Uses “Reckless Language” That “Can Seem To Condone Violence From His Supporters.” The Wall Street Journal editorial board explained on March 13 that Trump's “reckless language can seem to condone violence from his supporters.” [The Wall Street Journal, 3/13/16]

Wash. Post Editorial Board: Trump Is “Creating An Environment That Has Caused Such Frightening Hostility.” In a March 12 editorial, the Washington Post editorial board wrote Donald Trump's “Republican rivals were right to call him out for creating an environment that has caused such frightening hostility” at his campaign events. [The Washington Post, 3/12/16]

CNN's John Berman: Trump “Helps Contribute To The Environment” Of Violence At His Events. On the March 14 edition of CNN's New Day, co-host John Berman explained that when Trump “says the types of things he says,” he “helps contribute to the environment” of violence at his events. [CNN, New Day, 3/14/16]

But Right-Wing Media Defended Trump When He Incited And Encouraged Violence At His Rallies

Neil Cavuto Asks If “We Are Overstating” Incidents Of Violence At Trump Events Because “His Events Carry Huge Crowds.” On the March 11 edition of Fox News’ Your World, host Neil Cavuto pointed out that Trump's rallies “carry huge crowds, often tens of thousands in a crowd” and asked if “we are overstating some incidents that are small by comparison” and if “media disproportionately focuses on these disruptions” compared to “a Hillary Clinton rally, in which she espouses views that bothersome, and Black Lives Matter, who tried to disrupt her campaign.” [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 3/11/16]

Conservative Radio Host Wayne Allyn Root: “It's Not [Trump's] Fault That He's Being Victimized At Rallies.” On the March 14 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, guest and conservative radio personality Wayne Allyn Root claimed Trump is “being victimized” by protestors at his campaign events. Root likened Trump to “a woman [getting] attacked in the street,” saying, “You don't blame the victim ... . It's not his fault that he's being victimized at rallies.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/14/16]

NY Post: “Don't Blame Trump For Violence At His Rallies.” The New York Post editorial board wrote on March 13 that “Blaming Donald Trump even in part for the violence that has broken out at his rallies is nonsense,” adding, “if he were inciting violence in any real way, you'd see Trumpites disrupting other candidates' gatherings.” The board implied that Trump is the victim of “the same left-wing agitation that has plagued the nation for decades.” [New York Post, 3/13/16]

Fox's Brian Kilmeade: “The People Who Protest The Event Are The Problem.” On the March 14 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade defended Trump and his supporters, saying “the people who come to his event aren't the problem. The people who protest the event are the problem.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/14/16]

Conservative Commentator John Phillips: “Vandals” At Trump Rallies “Really Prevented Donald Trump From Being Able To Conduct This Peaceful Rally.” On the March 14 edition of CNN's New Day, conservative columnist and Trump supporter John Phillips blamed the “vandals” who “came in to assault police officers” for preventing “Donald Trump from being able to conduct this peaceful rally.” Phillips embraced Trump's “provocative” rhetoric, claiming it “is part of the reason why Donald Trump is the frontrunner.” [CNN, New Day, 3/14/16]

Sean Hannity: “Violent Agitators Hijacked What Was To Be A Peaceful Campaign Rally.” On the March 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity bemoaned to Donald Trump that “somehow people have been trying to flip this on you ... . as if you stating your political opinions is responsible for” violence at his events. Hannity claimed it was the “violent agitators” who “hijacked” an otherwise “peaceful campaign rally,” while ignoring previous violent incidents that have occurred at Trump rallies.[Fox News, Hannity, 3/11/16]

CNN's Jeffrey Lord Blames Violence At Trump Rallies On Protesters. On the March 10 edition of CNN's CNN Newsroom, CNN contributor and Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord bemoaned “people who show up at” Trump’s “rallies … to provoke” ” violence, blaming “the American left” for disrupting Trump rallies “in search of violence.” [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 3/10/16]

Mike Huckabee: “It's The Classic Let's Blame The Victim For What Happened To Him.” On the March 14 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, former Fox host and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called it “very unfair” to argue that Trump instigates violence at his rallies. Huckabee categorized criticism of Trump's incendiary rhetoric as “the classic let's blame the victim for what happened to him.” [Fox News,Your World with Neil Cavuto, 3/14/16]