Tommy DiMassimo, the man who was tackled by Secret Service trying to rush the stage at a Trump rally, told CNN he did it because “Donald Trump is a bully.”
DiMassimo, 22, a Bernie Sanders supporter, is a senior at Wright State University. He’s also now facing a court date Wednesday on charges of disorderly conduct and inducing panic.
He thought he would be able to make it on stage and “take his podium away from him and take his mic away from him and send a message to all people out in the country who wouldn’t consider themselves racist, who wouldn’t consider themselves approving of what type of violence Donald Trump is allowing in his rallies, and send them a message that we can be strong, that we can find our strength and we can stand up against Donald Trump and against this new wave he’s ushering in of truly just violent white supremacist ideas.”
DiMassimo told CNN he’d been thinking of doing something like this since November and was surprised by how many Secret Service agents were at the event.
“I was thinking that Donald Trump is a bully, and he is nothing more than that,” DiMassimo said. “He is somebody who is just saying a lot of bold things, he’s making bold claims. But I can see right through that and I can see that he’s truly just a coward. And he’s opportunistic and he’s willing to destroy this country for power for himself.”
When asked if he planned on attacking Trump, DiMassimo said, “No, not at all. There would have been no point.”
He continued, “Donald Trump is 6 foot 3. I’m 5 foot 9, maybe. He’s a giant man surrounded by thousands of followers, 12 Secret Service and a former Ohio State offensive lineman. That would have accomplished nothing.”
DiMassimo told CNN “it was more important for me to show that there are people out there who aren’t afraid of Donald Trump. He says scary things. He lets his people do scary things. He’s threatened Mexico, Islam, you name it, and yet I’m unafraid.”
CNN has come under criticism for giving DiMassimo airtime and treating him favorably.
CNN is rewarding DiMassimo’s lawbreaking by giving him a NATIONAL TV PLATFORM to air his views. This is beyond reprehensible. It’s dangerous
— MAGA TBH FAM (@TrumpHat) March 13, 2016
#CNN is interviewing the violent Dayton, Ohio protestor, Tommy DiMassimo. They’re not shaming him for shaming democracy.
— Ali A. Akbar (@ali) March 13, 2016
— Silent Majority (@michael_favreau) March 13, 2016
Though not everyone was critical of the interview. Comedienne Sandra Bernhard praised DiMassimo.
— Sandra Bernhard (@SandraBernhard) March 13, 2016