Sopan Deb is a CBS News journalist who decided to follow a group of police officers running toward some protesters at a Trump Chicago rally.
Deb has covered Trump for months since he started his campaign–he’s a regular on the campaign trail, and was detained by police, arrested and charged with resisting arrest for covering the events a bit too closely.
He told “Face the Nation” that protests at Trump rallies are nothing new, but the intensity has increased.
“There have been protests going on in Donald Trump rallies for months and months and months–this is nothing new,” he said. “However, there has definitely been a recent uptick; I have certainly never seen anything like last night. That was unprecedented.”
As for the protesters, Deb said it was clear the different groups had coordinated before the rally.
“This was clearly something that was coordinated. The person I talked to last night said he couldn’t tell me how many student groups are involved, because there was so many,” Deb said. “So it’s unclear how many groups are protesting, but there were certainly a whole bunch of different chants going on including ‘Black Lives Matter,’ vulgar chants in multiple different languages.”
It’s clear that many left-wing groups have poured gasoline on Trump’s fire, intentionally. This is a very dangerous and stupid game of brinksmanship which will only cause festering wounds to open up and potentially spill beyond the Trump campaign.
Trump isn’t going to back down or change his rhetoric. In fact, he’s right when he claims these protests are being organized specifically to stop him. But as Chris Cillizza wrote in his Washington Post blog, The Fix, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Don’t blame Trump, Trump says.
This is a very familiar pattern of logic for anyone who has watched this Trump campaign closely.
It’s not him saying that Mexico is sending rapists and criminals into the United States. It’s the Border Patrol officers he has talked to.
It’s not him saying that Muslims were on rooftops in New Jersey celebrating on Sept. 11, 2001. It’s the “many” news reports of the incidents he saw.
It’s not him refusing to denounce the KKK. It’s the media misconstruing his comments about a group he’s never even heard of.
It’s not him saying that Carly Fiorina isn’t attractive enough to be president. It’s people misunderstanding that when he commented on Fiorina’s “face” he was talking about her “persona.”
It’s not him saying that most white people are killed by blacks. He was just retweeting someone who said that.
It’s not him professing admiration for a sentiment expressed by Benito Mussolini. It’s someone else’s tweet — and Trump just likes interesting quotes.
And, it’s not him talking about genital size in a debate. He was merely responding to attacks on his manhood from Marco Rubio.
Trump can’t simultaneously organize people around issues that he takes credit (sometimes deserved, sometimes not) for bringing to the national forefront, while claiming he’s just the messenger, as if this level of frothy whipping-up would have happened anyway.
Sense a pattern? According to Trump, he is close to the controversy each time but is not the instigator of it.
Now, imagine your kid keeps getting into fights at school. He keeps saying that it’s because other kids started it and that it’s all just one big misunderstanding. You can’t figure out any pattern. It’s not the same group of kids he’s fighting with. There’s no obvious single issue that is causing the fights. At some point — if you are paying attention — you realize that the common thread is your kid. If he’s involved in five fights with five different kids, it’s unlikely that a) he has no culpability in the whole thing and b) it’s all just a misunderstanding.
Trump seems to want credit for starting a movement — and, make no mistake, that is what he’s done — but simultaneously wants to avoid any blame for the uglier elements that have been nurtured by that movement.
The SJW’s have indeed poured gasoline on Trump’s fire, but it’s silly for Trump to claim that he didn’t start the fire (to borrow Billy Joel’s song). He indeed started that fire and continues to carefully stoke it.