Politics & Government

Trump may pay legal bills for NC senior citizen who punched man at rally

Trump supporter punches protester in the face at rally, charged in assault

Watch video of a Trump supporter punch a protester as the protester is being escorted out of the arena by law enforcement in Fayetteville, NC, on March 10, 2016. After video clips appeared on various social media outlets, John Franklin McGraw, 78,
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Watch video of a Trump supporter punch a protester as the protester is being escorted out of the arena by law enforcement in Fayetteville, NC, on March 10, 2016. After video clips appeared on various social media outlets, John Franklin McGraw, 78,

Donald Trump says he’s “instructed my people” to explore the possibility of helping pay the legal bills for a 78-year-old man charged with assault at a Trump rally.

Authorities have said John Franklin McGraw of Linden, N.C., was charged after he was caught on video hitting a man deputies were escorting at a Trump rally last Wednesday in Fayetteville.

Trump tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that McGraw “got carried away” and “maybe he doesn’t like seeing what’s happening to the country.”

Trump was asked if it’s possible he could help McGraw with legal fees, if McGraw needed it.

Trump says: “I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes.”

The man who was punched has told The Associated Press that he and others went to the event as observers, not protesters. He says someone swore at one in their group, and by the time they tried to object, the police were escorting him out.

In other news, a Cleveland man arrested after trying to jump on the stage at Trump’s campaign rally near Dayton, Ohio, reportedly told police he planned to grab the microphone and yell that Trump is a racist but didn’t intend to hurt anyone.

The Dayton Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1ph5M0O) that it has obtained a police report that says 22-year-old Thomas DiMassimo told officers that he’d given his car keys to his girlfriend at Saturday’s rally anticipating that he’d be arrested. DiMassimo, of Fairborn, was charged with misdemeanor inducing panic and disorderly conduct. He was released on bail.

DiMassimo, an acting student with Wright State University’s theater program, couldn’t be reached for comment. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.

Trump was campaigning ahead of Tuesday’s Ohio primary.

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