Trump repeats claim without evidence that paid protesters disrupted his rallies

President Trump during a late-night interview with Fox News repeated, without evidence, his claim that Democrats paid protesters to infiltrate his rallies during the 2016 presidential campaign.  

“They sent paid people in to disrupt our rallies,” Trump told Fox News’s Shannon Bream. “When you do that, bad things happen.”

Bream brought up comments from former Attorney General Eric Holder (D), who said over the weekend that when Republicans “go low,” Democrats should “kick them.” The Fox News host then said Republicans have called for civility from Democrats, asking what Trump would say to critics who call his campaign rallies uncivil. 

“They were the ones that started everything,” Trump said. “I would have a rally and paid people were going into those rallies, causing trouble.” 

Bream mentioned that a Trump supporter at one of the then-candidate’s rallies punched a protester in the face. The president did not directly address the account.

Trump, during his interview with Fox, reiterated many of the same talking points he brought up during his rally earlier that night in Erie, Pa.

He slammed Democrats for their treatment of newly minted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and repeated his attacks on the credibility of Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Trump also defended his Wednesday op-ed published in USA Today denouncing “Medicare for All.” 

Trump called in to Bream’s show as Hurricane Michael continued to pummel the Florida Panhandle.

At the beginning of the interview, he called the hurricane a “tough windstorm,” saying that he has been in contact with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), as well as the governors of Alabama and Georgia, though he did not offer further details. 

“To a certain extent, we don’t know [the extent of the damage] because it’s so dark and all the electric is out,” Trump said. “We hear it’s a lot of damage and tremendous wind damage. A lot of things are blown over. Hopefully not houses with people in them.” 

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