Republican front-runner Donald Trump phoned into MSNBC Friday night to react to the violence that erupted between protesters and supporters at a Chicago arena where he had scheduled a rally.
Trump told host Chris Matthews that he made the decision to postpone the campaign event because he did not want to see any individuals get hurt.
The billionaire, known for his brash rhetoric on the campaign trail, argued: “It’s a little bit sad when you can’t have a rally in a major city in this country.”
“What ever happened to freedom of speech? What ever happened to the right to get together and speak in a peaceful manner?” he asked. “It’s a little bit sad to see this. In fact, it’s a lot sad to see that.”
Matthews then confronted Trump, suggesting the real estate mogul knew there would be protests because he planned the rally in a Chicago area home to a lot of minorities.
“So there was really no surprise here?” he asked.
“Chris, it shouldn’t mater. It shouldn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter — whoever lives in the city. Whether it’s white, black hispanic — it shouldn’t matter,” Trump fired back.
Later on Fox News, Trump said he did not believe he had played a role in dividing the country.
“I don’t use hate speech,” he said. “I don’t use hate speech.”
“I am a unifier,” Trump added.
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