Donald Trump has said an investigation is underway into ‘a plane full of thugs’ intent on causing chaos which he says flew to Washington DC for the Republican National Convention.
The president made the comment in an hour-long interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News on Monday where he slammed Democrat-run cities, said Portland has been ‘burning for decades’ and painted a bleak picture of what America will look like when he leaves office.
During the interview, Trump said that his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, was having his ‘strings’ pulled by ‘people you have never heard of, people in the dark shadows.’
Ingraham replied: ‘What does that mean? That sounds like conspiracy theory.’
But Trump replied: ‘They are people that are on the streets, people who are controlling the streets.
‘We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city, this weekend. And in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that. They’re on a plane.’
When asked for details, he replied: ‘I’ll tell you some time. It’s under investigation right now.’
Trump’s statement came on the same day that he defended the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse – the 17-year-old who shot two people dead during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Trump said the teen – a supporter of the president – ‘probably would have been killed’ by an angry mob if he hadn’t fired at them with the illegal gun he was carrying.
Donald Trump appeared on Fox News on Monday evening and spoke of a ‘plane of thugs’
The president told Laura Ingraham that he could not publicly disclose details of the flights
The Kenosha shooting came amid nationwide protests against police violence, which Trump claims are being funded by outside influencers.
In the interview, Trump told Ingraham that someone on a flight ‘from a certain city’ to Washington DC for the convention saw the crowd of ‘thugs’.
‘This person was coming to the Republican National Convention and there were like seven people in the plane [with] this person, and then a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage,’ Trump insisted.
He also said the money for the protests is coming from ‘very stupid rich people’, who were fomenting violence that has continued throughout the country for months.
‘The money is coming from some very stupid rich people [who] have no idea that if their thing ever succeeded, which it won’t, they will be thrown to the wolves like you’ve never seen before,’ he said.
The president said the money for the protests is coming from ‘very stupid rich people’, who were fomenting violence.
While Trump spoke at the RNC, yells and chants could be heard from protesters in the background
Attendees at the last night of the Republican National Convention were assaulted and accosted by a large crowd of demonstrators as they left the White House on Thursday night.
Footage from the streets surrounding Pennsylvania Avenue showed one white-haired man being punched in the back of the head and later knocked to the ground by a mob of activists who also threw water over him.
Meanwhile RNC committeeman Chris Ager and his wife were repeatedly abused by a balaclava-wearing protester who threatened to ‘f*** you up’ as they tried to get into the doors of their hotel.
Hundreds of activists had gathered outside the White House to protest Trump’s nomination acceptance speech, trying to drown it out with air horns and fireworks.
While demonstrations started peacefully things grew progressively ugly as the night wore on, with attendees forced to run a gauntlet of angry activists as they tried to leave the event.
Footage showed some scuffles breaking out between police officers and protesters, some of whom aimed punches at officers who drew batons in response.
Senator Rand Paul was also accosted by protesters who almost pushed him to the ground as he left the White House, after shoving a police officer into him.
Protests erupted outside the White House on Thursday evening, as Trump addressed the RNC
Republicans attending the White House speech on Thursday needed escorting away
However, multiple videos showed no police protection for attendees who were surrounded by group of aggressive protesters.
Protests had begun at midday in Washington DC, with a rally outside Amazon owner Jeff Bezos’s mansion demanding a $30 per hour minimum wage.
Demonstrations then moved to the streets around the White House from 7pm, with DJs and bands playing in an attempt to drown out the RNC.
During the convention itself, which lasted from 9pm until 11pm, protesters let off fireworks and blared air horns which could be heard in the background of Trump’s speech as it was broadcast on TV.
Scuffles initially began between the activists and a smaller number of counter-demonstrators leading to two arrests, according to DCist.
But as the convention finished the disturbances became more widespread.
Against the backdrop of the protests, Trump’s speech painted a stark choice for voters this November: a second term for himself or voting for Joe Biden, who he claimed would ‘demolish’ the nation.
‘Despite all of our greatness as a nation, everything we have achieved is now endangered,’ the president warned in his acceptance speech, given on the South Lawn of the White House.
On Monday Trump defended the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse, saying the 17-year-old ‘probably would have been killed’ in Kenosha, Wisconsin if he hadn’t opened fire, killing two protesters last Tuesday.
‘He was trying to get away from them I guess, it looks like, and he fell on then they very violently attacked him,’ Trump said in response to a question from DailyMail.com on Monday.
‘It was something that we are looking at right now and it’s under investigation, but I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would’ve been killed. It’s under investigation,’ he added during his press briefing.
Rittenhouse is charged with two counts of ‘intentional homicide,’ a charge in Wisconsin state law which is the same as murder in most other states, for his actions in Kenosha that left two people dead and one wounded.
President Trump defended the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse, saying the 17-year-old ‘probably would have been killed’ by an angry mob if he hadn’t fired at them with the illegal gun he was carrying.
Rittenhouse was part of a group of armed civilians protecting a service station in Kenosha. There was a scuffle between them and the protesters. Shots were fired and 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum was fatally shot in the head.
Video posted on social media shows a man whom police believe to be Rittenhouse make a call on a cellphone and say: ‘I just shot someone.’
He flees and is pursued by many protesters, at least one of whom is armed with a handgun. Rittenhouse falls to the ground and the crowd rushes in to seize his weapon.
He was hit over the head by protester Anthony Huber, 26, who had a skateboard and wanted to disarm him.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was patrolling the streets with an AR-15. He fell over, was hit with a skateboard by other protesters who tried to disarm him, and opened fire, wounding one person and killing two. He is now being held on murder charges
Rittenhouse then starts firing into the group and ended up killing Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz.
He was not arrested until the following day, back in Illinois, despite approaching police with his hands in the air while other protesters yelled that he’d just shot multiple people.
He is in custody in Illinois. A judge will decide at a hearing on Sept. 25 whether Rittenhouse will be extradited to Wisconsin, where he would be tried as an adult. He faces six felony charges that include first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, and a misdemeanor charge for possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor.
Rittenhouse’s attorney Lin Wood said the 17-year-old vigilante was ‘attacked’ with ‘lethal force’ and ‘had the right to defend himself.’
Democratic nominee Joe Biden condemned President Trump defense of the shooting.
‘The President declined to rebuke violence,’ he said in a statement after Trump’s press conference.
‘He wouldn’t even repudiate one of his supporters who is charged with murder because of his attacks on others. He is too weak, too scared of the hatred he has stirred to put an end to it. So once again, I urge the President to join me in saying that while peaceful protest is a right — a necessity — violence is wrong, period. No matter who does it, no matter what political affiliation they have. Period,’ he added.