Donald Trump calls San Jose protesters ‘thugs’

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A day after violent protests over his presidential campaign in San Jose, Donald Trump called those protesters “thugs” at a campaign stop in Redding.

Trump repeated the comment on Twitter earlier Friday:

San Jose police arrested four people Thursday. One officer suffered minor injuries after a dozen or more people were punched and car windows were broken Thursday night. Trump hats grabbed from supporters were set on fire on the ground. At least one woman was pelted with an egg.

Trump said “did you see last night in San Jose we had an amazing packed crowd”.

The GOP candidate went on to say “it was a love-fest inside no problems what-so-ever”, “they walk out get accosted by a bunch of thugs burning the American Flag, burning the American Flag, you know what they are they are thugs build that wall you are right”.

Police stood their ground at first but after about 90 minutes moved into the remaining crowd to break it up and make arrests.

“Many of the attendees were attacked out in the open,” said Pete Constant, a former San Jose councilman and former police officer. “It appears that law enforcement was more focused on protecting private property.”

Thursday night’s crowd, which had numbered over 300 just after the rally, thinned significantly as the night went on, but those who remained near the San Jose Convention Center were rowdy and angry.

Some banged on the cars of Trump supporters as they left the rally and chased after those on foot.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, a Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, criticized Trump for coming to cities and igniting problems that local police departments had to deal with.

“At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign,” Liccardo told The Associated Press by phone.

Liccardo defended the police Friday.

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