March 13th, 2016
11:58 AM ET

Trump on protesters at his rallies "A lot of them come from Bernie Sanders, whether he wants to say it or not. And if he says no, then he's lying. "

SOTU

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, presidential candidate Donald Trump, joined anchor, Jake Tapper to discuss Senator Bernie Sanders, protesters and more.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

Contacts: Lauren Pratapas — Lauren.Pratapas@turner.com; 202.465.6666; Zachary Lilly – Zachary.Lilly@turner.com; Brooke Lorenz- Brooke.Lorenz@turner.com


CNN STORY

Trump: I 'should get credit, not be scorned' for tone of events

 

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Sanders: Clinton is 'a little bit nervous'

Trump: Sanders tweet was not a threat

 

 

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

 

Trump on maintaining decorum during rallies:   I think, in many cases, I do lower the temperature.  I tell the police, please take it easy when people are punching the police and trying to hurt people.  When I say things like "I would like to punch him," frankly, this was a person that was absolutely violent and was like a crazed individual.   A lot of them are - you know, I don't even call them protesters.  I call them disrupters.  A lot of them come from Bernie Sanders, whether he wants to say it or not.  And if he says no, then he's lying.  Bernie Sanders, they have Sanders signs all over the place.  And they're made by the same people that make the regular Bernie Sanders signs.  They're professionally made.  And we have great rallies.  We have by far the biggest rallies.  We have 25,000, 30,000 people at rallies.  And out of that, you have had very little problem.  And then what I did with Chicago - and I could have gone.  It would have been easier for me to go and make the speech, and you would have had a clash, because you had professional disrupters, thousands of them, from Sanders and to a smaller extent Hillary…

 

Trump on canceling his Chicago rally: [TRUMP]: “...I canceled and postponed the other day in Chicago...” [TAPPER]: “Yes.” [TRUMP]:  “...because, frankly, if I went up, we would have had my - my supporters have tremendous love of this country.”  [TAPPER]:  “Right.”  [TRUMP]:  “They're tired of our country being ripped off by everybody. And I will tell you, you would have had a tremendous clash.  And a lot of people would have gotten hurt or worse.  And by canceling it, everybody dispersed beautifully.  The police did a great job.  The Secret Service was fantastic.” [TAPPER]: “Yes.”  [TRUMP]:  “And there was no injuries, no nothing.  So, I should get credit, not be scorned...”

 

Trump on warning Sanders: “No, it's not a threat.  It's not a threat.  It's not a threat at all.  Look, my people have said, we ought to go to his rallies, because, you know, it's sort of interesting.  When liberals and super liberals - and I don't even call them liberals, because I have many friends that are liberal, and I think they're wonderful people.  These are beyond liberal.  These people are bad people that are looking to do harm to our country.  But when these people come into mine, you know, everybody thinks I'm a bad guy, when, if my people went into one of his rallies, they'd say, oh, this is a terrible thing.  They would be arrested and all sorts of things would happen to them.  If conservative Republicans ever went into his rally, you would see things happen that would be unbelievable.  And Bernie would be, oh, poor, Bernie, isn't that a shame?...”

 

 

Trump on violence at his rallies:” ….We have rallies of 25,000, 30,000 people, and you haven't even said anything about danger in our rallies until Friday.  And the danger was ended by a very good managerial decision not to have that particular rally, to postpone it.  [TAPPER]:  I - well, I said something about it at the debate on Thursday night, because people are worried about it. [TRUMP]:  How many people - and, Jake, you made a statement. Jake, could I ask you a question?  You made a statement that, at my rallies, people are - it's dangerous.  Now, other than for the other day with Chicago and the one man that rushed the stage and Secret Service did a very good job, but, other than that, with thousands of people, 21,000, 25,000, 35,000 people a few weeks ago in Alabama, how many people have been injured at my rallies?  Zero.  Zero.  There's been nobody injured.” 

 

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: …. Trump's fellow candidates in both parties condemning the violence and accusing the Republican front-runner of creating a toxic environment, but with just who days until Tuesday's winner-take-all primaries in Ohio and Florida, Trump still looks on track to maintain his significant delegate lead.

And joining us now, Donald Trump.

 

Mr. Trump, thanks so much for joining us.

 

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Thank you.

 

TAPPER:  So, Mr. Trump, you're being faulted for a tone allegedly encouraging violence by every candidate in the race, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders.

 

Take a look at this new ad from an anti-Trump super PAC which is airing on national cable today.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)

 

NARRATOR:  Donald Trump campaign violence.

 

TRUMP:  I would like to punch him in the face, knock the crap out of him.  They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks.  I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

TAPPER:  Now, protests on the campaign trail are obviously nothing new.  I have seen one in every previous election I have covered.

 

But, in every one I have seen before, the leader on the stage tries to lower the temperature, not raise it.  Do you ever consider whether you should be trying to lower the temperature when these protests erupt?

 

TRUMP:  I think, in many cases, I do lower the temperature.

 

I tell the police, please take it easy when people are punching the police and trying to hurt people.  When I say things like "I would like to punch him," frankly, this was a person that was absolutely violent and was like a crazed individual.

 

A lot of them are - you know, I don't even call them protesters.  I call them disrupters.  A lot of them come from Bernie Sanders, whether he wants to say it or not.  And if he says no, then he's lying.

 

Bernie Sanders, they have Sanders signs all over the place.  And they're made by the same people that make the regular Bernie Sanders signs.  They're professionally made.

 

And we have great rallies.  We have by far the biggest rallies.  We have 25,000, 30,000 people at rallies.  And out of that, you have had very little problem.  And then what I did with Chicago - and I could have gone.  It would have been easier for me to go and make the speech, and you would have had a clash, because you had professional disrupters, thousands of them, from Sanders and to a smaller extent Hillary.

 

Hillary doesn't have very much fervor.  I will say that.  And so people don't care that much.  But you have Sanders disrupters going over there.  You had Ayers there.  You had a lot of people there that I don't think is so good to be there.

 

And I'll tell you what.  I think what I did - and I have gotten a lot of credit for it, not from CNN.  I watched John King this morning.  That was a total kill job, the entire show.  I was amazed at that show.  It was like a total kill.

 

But I'll tell you what.  I got a lot - I have gotten a lot of credit from other networks, not from CNN.  I have gotten a lot of credit for the fact that...

 

TAPPER:  Well...

 

TRUMP:  ... I canceled and postponed the other day in Chicago...

 

TAPPER:  Yes.

 

TRUMP:  ... because, frankly, if I went up, we would have had my - my supporters have tremendous love of this country.

 

TAPPER:  Right.

 

TRUMP:  They're tired of our country being ripped off by everybody.

 

And I will tell you, you would have had a tremendous clash.  And a lot of people would have gotten hurt or worse.  And by canceling it, everybody dispersed beautifully.  The police did a great job.  The Secret Service was fantastic.

 

TAPPER:  Yes.

 

TRUMP:  And there was no injuries, no nothing.

 

So, I should get credit, not be scorned...

 

TAPPER:  So...

 

TRUMP:  ... on your program by John King all morning long.

 

TAPPER:  OK.  Well, that's not my program.

 

But, in any case, this morning, sir, you tweeted: "Bernie Sanders is lying when he says his disrupters aren't told to go to my events.  Be careful, Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours."

 

That sounds like a threat.  It doesn't sound like lowering the temperature.  It sounds like making things perhaps even worse.

 

TRUMP:  No, it's not a threat.  It's not a threat.  It's not a threat at all.

 

Look, my people have said, we ought to go to his rallies, because, you know, it's sort of interesting.  When liberals and super liberals - and I don't even call them liberals, because I have many friends that are liberal, and I think they're wonderful people.  These are beyond liberal.

 

These people are bad people that are looking to do harm to our country.  But when these people come into mine, you know, everybody thinks I'm a bad guy, when, if my people went into one of his rallies, they'd say, oh, this is a terrible thing.  They would be arrested and all sorts of things would happen to them.

 

If conservative Republicans ever went into his rally, you would see things happen that would be unbelievable.  And Bernie would be, oh, poor, Bernie, isn't that a shame?

 

There is a horrible thing - there is a horrible thing going on in the media.  We are treated so unfairly, and I'm treated very unfairly.  I mean, you know, this morning, you had your political consultant say I had 5,000 people in Dayton, Ohio.

 

Well, I had far more than 5,000 people.  We had a hangar that was filled with people.

 

TAPPER:  Mister...

 

TRUMP:  It had to be 10,000 or 15,000 people.

 

TAPPER:  I think people - I guess, Mr. Trump, the point is that people are getting hurt, and people are actually concerned that somebody might get seriously, seriously injured before this is all over, and that you are not taking down the temperature.

 

You are, in the views of many of your fellow Republicans, making things worse, inciting, encouraging violence.  And you're a leader, sir.

 

TRUMP:  My fellow Republicans...

 

TAPPER:  You're the front-runner of the Republican Party.

 

TRUMP:  Excuse me.  Excuse me.

 

My fellow Republicans are running against me.  They are losing big league.  In Florida, we have a man, Marco Rubio, who doesn't even show up to vote in the U.S. Senate.  He's a disgrace.  He's weak, very weak on illegal immigration, wants to give amnesty to everybody.  He's a person that I don't think he could be elected dogcatcher in Florida, frankly, but I'm running against...

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

TAPPER:  All right, but, with all due respect, sir...

 

TRUMP:  In - if you look at - excuse me.  Excuse me.

 

If you look at Ohio, we have a man that voted for NAFTA.  NAFTA has destroyed Ohio, and now he's voting for TPP, I mean, in Kasich.  And give me a break.  They're running against me.  So, obviously, if I were in their position, I would be saying the same thing.

 

We have rallies of 25,000, 30,000 people, and you haven't even said anything about danger in our rallies until Friday.  And the danger was ended by a very good managerial decision not to have that particular rally, to postpone it.

 

TAPPER:  I - well, I said something about it at the debate on Thursday night, because people are worried about it.

 

TRUMP:  How many people - and, Jake, you made a statement.

 

Jake, could I ask you a question?  You made a statement that, at my rallies, people are - it's dangerous.  Now, other than for the other day with Chicago and the one man that rushed the stage and Secret Service did a very good job, but, other than that, with thousands of people, 21,000, 25,000, 35,000 people a few weeks ago in Alabama, how many people have been injured at my rallies?

 

Zero.  Zero.  There's been nobody injured.

 

TAPPER:  I - I don't think that it's zero.  It's - it's...

 

TRUMP:  But you make it like everybody is being broken down and injured, because CNN reports very, very unfairly about me, I'll tell you what.

 

So, out of all of these rallies, with thousands and thousands of people, and nobody is even close - by the way, Bernie gets peanuts compared to what we get.  And I say we because it's me and - I'm just a messenger, because there is a lot of anger in this country, and it's anger at incompetence.

 

It's anger at the border.  It's anger at trade deals that are so bad for us and all our jobs are being taken out of the country.  There is a lot of anger.

 

I didn't need to do this.  I have a wonderful life.  I have a great, great company.  I didn't need to do this.  I wanted to do it, because somebody has to do it.

 

TAPPER:  I would just ask...

 

TRUMP:  Our country is in trouble.

 

TAPPER:  I hear you, sir.  I hear you, sir, about the causes of the anger.

 

I would just, ask as a fellow American, if you could consider whether or not dialing down the temperature, trying to bring down the temperature, might be a healthier thing, both for your campaign and for the nation at large.

 

But that's all the time we have.  Thank you so much for joining us, Donald Trump.

 

TRUMP:  Well, if you would report it right - well, you should report it right, because we have had no injuries at my - at my events with thousands of people.  You just don't report it that way.

 

So, you know, do what you have to do.

 

TAPPER:  Thank you, Mr. Trump.

 

TRUMP:  Thank you.

 

###END INTERVIEW###

 


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