Former President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE released a statement on Monday discussing his four-hour deposition in the civil lawsuit involving alleged violence that broke out between protesters and his security guards in 2015, saying he was "pleased to have had the opportunity to tell my side of this ridiculous story."
In 2015, a group of protesters of Mexican origin brought a suit against Trump and his head of security, Keith Schiller, following a rally outside Trump Tower protesting his inflammatory remarks about Mexican immigrants. They alleged that Trump's security assaulted them and infringed on their First Amendment rights to peaceful protest.
The plaintiffs allege that Schiller struck one protester, Efrain Galicia, in the head when attempting to take away a sign that read, "Trump: Make America Racist Again."
In a statement, Trump appeared to shoot down the protesters' claims of peaceful protest, saying that they "intentionally sought to rile up a crowd by blocking the entrance to Trump Tower."
"The Klu Klux Klan dressed protester case should have never been brought as the plaintiffs have no one to blame but themselves," he said. "Rather than protest peacefully, the plaintiffs intentionally sought to rile up a crowd by blocking the entrance to Trump Tower on 5th Avenue, in the middle of the day, wearing Klu Klux Klan robes and hoods."
Some of the protesters had worn parodies of Ku Klux Klan robes, mocking the endorsement that former Klan leaders had given to Trump and his apparent refusal at the time to reject the support.
"After years of litigation, I was pleased to have had the opportunity to tell my side of this ridiculous story—Just one more example of baseless harassment of your favorite President," Trump said.
Trump gave the deposition on Monday after New York Supreme Court Justice Doris Gonzalez requested his testimony last week. Benjamin Dictor, an attorney representing the protesters, said then that the deposition would take place at Trump Tower.
Gonzalez had previously requested Trump's testimony in September 2019, but Trump had claimed executive privilege as a reason why he could not fulfill this request. However, Gonzalez rejected this argument, as Trump was being called in for actions that took place outside his time in office.
As The Associated Press reported, the plaintiffs are demanding punitive damages from Trump, arguing that he should have known that his security would act in a “negligent or reckless manner.”