Donald Trump praises his supporters who fought with ‘Antifa scum’ in brawls near the White House
Donald Trump poured fuel onto fiery confrontations around the White House on Saturday night, stirring up trouble on Twitter as pro-Trump demonstrators left the capital and were attacked by a small group of counter-protesters.
A crowd estimated by Fox News and USA Today to be in the tens of thousands, and by the Washington Post to number thousands, gathered for a largely peaceful protest at noon on Saturday.
Most of those attending were Trump fans who had travelled across the country to attend, but some were members of far-Right groups like the Proud Boys, or self-styled militias including Oath Keepers. The crowd was addressed by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
As the masses dispersed, there were multiple scuffles near the White House, with diners at an outdoor restaurant standing and watching as pro- and anti-Trump demonstrators brawled in the street.
Counter-protesters stole MAGA baseball caps off the heads of Trump supporters as they walked away, ripped Trump flags from them and overturned tables of Trump merchandise. One woman was seen, in a brief clip with no context, hitting an elderly lady in the head as she walked away. Another was seen setting fire to a MAGA cap.
Trump supporters took to the streets of Washington DC on Saturday
A man was stabbed after a fight broke out between supporters and counter-protesters at around 8:30pm, the emergency services said.
At least 20 arrests were made including four people arrested on weapons charges – Peter Newsham, the chief of Washington DC police, had reminded protesters on the eve of the rally that carrying firearms is not allowed in the District.
Shortly before midnight Mr Trump weighed in on the ugly scenes unfolding near his home, praising his supporters for ‘fighting back’ and providing a gleeful commentary on the running battles.
"Radical Left ANTIFA SCUM was easily rebuffed today by the big D.C. MAGA Rally crowd, only to return at night, after 99% of the crowd had left, to assault elderly people and families," he said.
"Police got there, but late. Mayor is not doing her job!"
He then added: "ANTIFA SCUM ran for the hills today when they tried attacking the people at the Trump Rally, because those people aggressively fought back.
"Antifa waited until tonight, when 99% were gone, to attack innocent #MAGA People.
"DC Police, get going — do your job and don’t hold back!!!"
ANTIFA SCUM ran for the hills today when they tried attacking the people at the Trump Rally, because those people aggressively fought back. Antifa waited until tonight, when 99% were gone, to attack innocent #MAGA People. DC Police, get going — do your job and don’t hold back!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020
Mr Trump retweeted a video posted by infamous right-wing provocateur, which showed a Trump supporter being knocked to the ground, kicked and stamped on, with his nose bleeding badly.
A different angle of the clip showed the supporter first attacking a counter-protester, knocking him to the ground and kicking him in the head on the floor.
Mr Trump sprung to the defence of his supporter. "Human Radical Left garbage did this," he said. "Being arrested now!"