Hillary Clinton said that Republican front-runner Donald Trump is evoking the kind of mob violence “that led to lynching” with the incitement of violence at his political rallies.
At an MSNBC town hall in Springfield, Illinois, on Monday, Clinton was asked to analyze the forces behind Trump’s rise and why African Americans, in particular, have “turned” on Trump. The network also played video clips of Trump’s comments at rallies, in which he suggested that he would pay legal fees for supporters who engaged in violence against protesters.
“When you are inciting mob violence, which is what Trump is doing in those clips, there’s a lot of memories that people have,” Clinton told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. “People remember mob violence that led to lynching. People remember mob violence that led to people being shot, being grabbed, being mistreated.
“It’s something that has a deep, almost psychological resonance to people who have ever been in any position of feeling somewhat fearful, somewhat worried,” she added.
Clinton strongly suggested that Trump’s rise is tied to his early efforts to delegitimize President Obama by being one of the loudest voices who called for Obama to release his birth certificate.
“The fact that Trump led the campaign to try to delegitimize President Obama from the very beginning … he used this phony issue about where he was born. … inciting people to try to be hostile toward the president who happened to be the first African American president, that sent a lot of signals to African Americans – to all Americans,” Clinton said.
Clinton has increasingly spoken out against Trump, calling his rhetoric “dangerous.” She said that she holds Trump responsible for the violence that has occurred at his rallies, including at a rally in Chicago on Friday.
“I do hold him responsible,” Clinton said. “If you go back now several months, he’s been building this incitement. He has been talking about punching people in the face. He’s been encouraging manhandling of both the people who are attending as well as journalists.
“What happened on Friday in Chicago is tragically a natural outgrowth of that kind of incitement,” Clinton said.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Abby Phillip