Donald Trump said Sunday that he has instructed his campaign team to “look into” paying legal fees for the 78-year-old North Carolina man who sucker-punched a protester at a campaign rally earlier this week.
“It’s possible you could help him with legal fees if this man needs it?” NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked Trump.
“I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes,” the GOP front-runner said.
Trump supporter John McGraw was arrested and charged with assault and battery after video emerged showing the Trump supporter throwing an elbow into the face of anti-Trump protester Rakeem Jones as he was being escorted from a rally in Fayetteville, N.C. (RELATED: Trump Protester Sucker-Punched [VIDEO])
After throwing the sucker-punch, McGraw was filmed telling bystanders that Jones was “not acting like an American.”
“The next time we see him, we might have to kill him,” he added.
The incident was evidence of increased tension at Trump campaign events. More protesters have sought to disrupt his rallies while Trump supporters have become more confrontational. That tension culminated in the cancellation of a Trump rally scheduled to be held in Chicago on Friday.
Trump himself has come under fire from critics who say he has encouraged his supporters to react with violence against protesters. He has said at various rallies that he will pay the legal bills for supporters who take care of protesters.
On Sunday, Trump said that while he does not condone violence at his events, he wants to see video of the incident. (RELATED: Trump Claims ‘Nobody’s Ever Been Hurt’ At His Rallies [VIDEO])
“I want to see what that young man was doing,” he said of Jones, who is black. “He was very taunting. He was very loud. Very disruptive. And from what I understand he was sticking a certain finger up in the air.”
Video shows Jones flipping off the pro-Trump crowd as he was being escorted from the rally.
“That is a terrible thing to do in front of somebody that, frankly, wants to see America made great again,” Trump said.
He added that despite Jones flipping off the crowd, he does not condone violence and thinks that McGraw merely “got carried away.”
“He was 78 years old,” Trump said. “He obviously loves this country. And maybe he doesn’t like seeing what’s happening to the country.”
McGraw was released from jail and is due in court next month. Jones was briefly detained after being escorted from the event.