North Carolina native John Franklin McGraw, now 79, first made headlines when he punched Rakeem Jones, who protested then-presidential candidate Donald Trump during a March rally, but now there's new video of an encounter between the two men — and it's going viral.
McGraw and Jones met again Wednesday in court, where the Trump supporter pleaded no contest, according to WNCN-TV, to misdemeanor charges of assault and battery and disorderly conduct. The judge mandated McGraw pay $180 in court costs along with a $250 fine.
The last time the political foes met, the scene was volatile, but this week, something entirely different happened.
McGraw, who sucker-punched Jones as he was being ushered out of a Trump rally in Fayetteville on March 9, apologized to Jones for his actions. Moments after, the two men shook hands and hugged — a move that garnered applause from those gathered in the courtroom.
"We're caught up in a political mess today," McGraw, his voice shaking, told Jones. "And you and me, we've gotta heal our country."
In response, Jones patted him on the shoulder, said, "All right, man," and embraced his one-time enemy.
"It just felt good, being able to shake his hand," Jones said. "And being able to actually face him."
Though the judge said he was pleased to see the two men come to an understanding, it hasn't always been that way.
Shortly after the infamous video of the punch was shared by New York Daily News columnist Shaun King, McGraw said Jones "deserved it," even adding, "The next time we see him, we might have to kill him. We don’t know who he is. He might be with a terrorist organization."
"You bet I liked it: Knocking the hell out of that big mouth," McGraw said, showing little remorse at the time. "Number one, we don’t know if he’s ISIS. We don’t know who he is, but we know he’s not acting like an American."
The two men have clearly come a long way. Now, McGraw faces one year supervised probation for the assault.