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Trump on rally shutdown: ‘What ever happened to freedom of speech?’

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Donald Trump expressed frustration on having to cancel his rally in Chicago on Friday night in a phone interview on MSNBC. 

“It’s a little bit sad when you can’t have a rally in a major city in this country … What ever happened to freedom of speech? What ever happened to the right to get together?”

{mosads}Trump’s rally was called off due to security concerns after massive protests erupted around the event venue.

“I didn’t want to see the real violence and that’s why I decided to call it off,” Trump said. 

Trump supporters and protesters clashed at the event, even after the announcement of its cancellation, and several fist fights broke out. 

When MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked Trump if he thought the violence and protests would hurt his campaign, he said he thought such incidents might increase his votes. 

He said he thinks his campaign would be credited for deciding to put off the event. 

Despite brawls at the event, no one has been reported seriously hurt. 

Matthews pushed Trump, arguing that such backlash against his event should have been expected given the large Hispanic and black populations in Chicago.

“Whether it’s black, Hispanic, it shouldn’t matter,” Trump said. “We shouldn’t be restricted from having a rally here.”

In a later interview with Fox News, when Trump was asked if he believed the protests were aimed at him, he said: “No, I think this is a demonstration against economic conditions on both sides.”

“Our nation is totally divided. In many ways it’s divided, and one of the ways it’s divided is white-black. We have so many different sets of divisions and hopefully we’ll be able to bring it together. I’m a unifier. President Obama has not been a unifier, he’s been a divider. I’m a unifier, I’ll bring people together.”

Trump’s events this week have been marked by outbursts of violence – videos surfaced of one black man getting sucker punched in the face and another with a bloodied face and nose. 

– Harper Neidig contributed

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