Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Friday cancelled a rally over security concerns, but violence erupted when hundreds of supporters and protesters clashed outside the event at The University of Illinois.
The rally, which follows comments Trump made earlier in the day seeming to condone violence at his rallies, descended into chaos when protestors and supporters of the GOP frontrunner confronted one another on the arena floor.
Shortly after the cancelation announcement was made, Trump’s campaign released a statement saying the decision to postpone the event was made after meeting with law enforcement.
“Mr. Trump just arrived in Chicago and after meeting with law enforcement has determined that for the safety of all of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight’s rally will be postponed to another date,” the Trump campaign said in a statement. “Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace.”
In an interview with Fox News, Trump condemned the protests, saying they interfered with his freedom of speech. He added that he was a unifier that did not promote hate.
“There’s a lot of anger out there,” Trump said. “There’s tremendous division in our country.”
When asked if he played a role in the division, Trump said no.
“I don’t think so. I represent a large group of people that have great anger and they’re not angry people, but they have anger at the stupidity of what’s happening in our country.”
Protestors and Trump supporters took to the streets following the cancelation. Chicago police are monitoring the situation.
This is a developing story.
SOURCE: NYT | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty