Republican nominee Donald Trump spent the past 24 hours repeatedly mischaracterizing President Barack Obama’s treatment of a protester, accusing the Commander in Chief of “screaming” at a man who disrupted a speech at a recent campaign rally—even though footage of the event directly contradicts his claim.
Speaking to a crowd in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on Friday evening, Trump brought up an interaction from earlier that day between the president and a protester during an event in North Carolina, where Obama was stumping for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump first took a shot at the media, saying they failed to “put the cameras on” the protester, before accusing Obama of shouting down the man.
“He was talking to the protester, screaming at him—really screaming at him,” Trump said. “He spent so much time screaming at this protester…If I spoke, the way Obama spoke to that protester, they would say ‘He became unhinged.’ Frankly, it was a disgrace.”
Trump repeated parts of the claim on Saturday in Tampa, Florida where accused Obama of “screaming and screaming and screaming—just like the way he runs the country, nobody listens to him.” He again brought it up in a speech Saturday afternoon in Wilmington, North Carolina.
But according to video of the Clinton rally in question, which was broadcast live on CNN and other outlets, Trump’s description of events is a lie.
During Obama’s speech, a Trump supporter did indeed rise and begin to protest the event. However, not only did CNN’s camera’s focus on the man, but Obama’s response—which is clearly documented in the video below—was to quiet those who tried to shout down the demonstrator, not the demonstrator himself.
Obama then made the case to let the man continue speaking his mind.
“You’ve got an older gentleman who is supporting his candidate,” Obama said. “He’s not doing nothing. You don’t have to worry about him.”
Obama tells crowd to "respect" protester at Clinton rally: "We live in a country that respects free speech." https://t.co/DlTg7Y6ULY
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 4, 2016
“First of all, we live in a country that respects free speech,” he continued, sparking applause from the crowd. “Second of all, it looks like maybe he might have served in our military and we got to respect that. Third of all, he was elderly and we got to respect our elders. And fourth of all, don’t boo—vote!”
Obama’s treatment of the man was in stark contrast to the way Trump often responds to protesters at his own rallies. In addition to belittling and demonizing those who demonstrate at his events, the business mogul has repeatedly encouraged his supporters to beat and “knock the crap out of them,” and even offered pay the legal fees of assailants.