ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A day after violent protests outside a Donald Trump rally, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee railed against “Crooked Hillary” Clinton, “Crazy Bernie” Sanders and leaders in his own party who haven’t endorsed him in a raucous but mostly uninterrupted rally on Wednesday.
Outside, demonstrators quietly held up signs reading `Love and Peace” and “Migration is beautiful” during the rally, but the modest crowd grew rowdier when Trump supporters came outside. The two sides shouted at each other as dozens of police, some on horseback, stood by in an effort to prevent a renewal of the violence that included rock-throwing and burning T-shirts Tuesday night in New Mexico.
Inside, protesters did call out a few times during Trump’s hour-long speech and were escorted out. “Get `em out!” he shouted. at one point. “Out! Out! Out!!” But he added, “Don’t hurt `em. See what I say? Don’t hurt `em. I say that for the television cameras. … Do not hurt him, even though he’s a bad person.”
As for Clinton, Trump noted Wednesday’s report by the State Department inspector general that faulted Clinton for her use of private email for official business when she was secretary of state. “She had a little bad news today,” he said, and he even suggested she might not make it to the Democratic nomination.
Trump said he was looking forward to running against Clinton but might end up against her rival, Sen. Sanders.
“Crazy Bernie,” he said. “He’s a crazy man, but that’s OK, we like crazy.”
Before the rally, local police issued a firm warning to protesters that violence would not be tolerated following the clashes between anti-Trump protesters and police in New Mexico a day earlier.
“While we recognize and respect the First Amendment rights of all individuals to express their viewpoints and protest peacefully, we will not tolerate violence or disobedience of the law during the upcoming rally,” Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada said in a statement.
In one of the presidential campaign year’s more unruly spectacles, anti-Trump protesters had thrown burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police officers, injuring several, and had toppled trash cans and barricades.
Police responded by firing pepper spray and smoke grenades into the crowd outside the Albuquerque Convention Center.
In Anaheim, pro- and anti-Trump demonstrators clashed last month at Anaheim City Hall when the City Council discussed a resolution criticizing Trump as divisive. Rally attendees arrived early Wednesday, weaving through a maze of police barricades and security checkpoints before entering the venue.
The violence in New Mexico has prompted security concerns beyond neighboring California. Police in Bismarck, North Dakota, said Wednesday they would dedicate about a quarter of their force for security when Trump heads to the state Thursday.
Sgt. Mark Buschena said about 30 officers would be assigned to the event at the Bismarck Civic Center. Trump is keynoting the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference and Expo, with about 7,000 people expected to attend.
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