Trump Says He May Pay Legal Fees for Suspect Charged With Hitting Protester at Rally

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A still image from video shows a man sucker punching another man at a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina on March 9, 2016. (Credit: Chris Doyle)

When Donald Trump said Sunday that he might pay the legal fees of a man charged with hitting a protester in the face at one of his rallies, it was the latest of many occasions when the leading Republican candidate for president appeared to condone or accept violence by supporters.

Heckling at rallies is a staple of all presidential campaigns, and the New York billionaire attracts more than average. For both Democrats and Republicans, it’s routine to urge unruly crowds to remain peaceful, as Trump often does.

But Trump alone has openly endorsed violent retaliation against people who disrupt his rallies, many of whom accuse him of racism.