As Donald Trump walked into the North Carolina town hall, he was met with thunderous applause.
Despite a string of violent and aggressive take-downs of protesters at his past rallies, and at least three protesters shouting out during the session on Monday, Mr Trump told the audience that his rallies are “lovefests”.
Mr Trump started off his interview with his former rival Chris Christie by defending his company’s cashflow and insisting he had little debt.
“You’ve seen the documents,” he said to Mr Christie, the Governor of New Jersey. “You said you were shocked by some of the numbers.”
Mr Christie nodded: “Yup”.
Mr Christie, now an ardent supporter of the real estate mogul, held the microphone close to his face and continued to nod as Mr Trump expounded his plans to build a hotel in Washington DC - a great example, he said, of how to complete an infrastructure project on time and under budget.
“I’d be way under budget except I upped the marble,” he said.
The crowd did not pick up the applause and cries again until Mr Trump came to his next trigger word - “wall” - the wall which he wants to build along the US border.
“Who is going to pay for the wall?” he called out, one hand to his ear.
“Mexico!” the audience screamed back.
A chorus of protesters then erupted, the first of at least three during the town hall rally.
Mr Trump and Mr Christie sat in their beige armchairs, faint smiles on their faces as they listened to their supporters drown out the opposing voices: “Build that wall! Build that wall!"
Mr Trump insisted there was no violence at his rallies - “except maybe that one guy that got hit.”
“These are lovefests,” he said.
He said the protesters were probably given “Bernie Sanders signs” by Mr Sanders himself.
“They [the signs] look just like the ones you see. They are the same size, made by machine,” he told the crowd.
“I’m a peace loving person. We love peace. We all love peace. I just want to say there’s a big double standard there, but that’s OK,” he said, referring to a protester at a Marco Rubio rally who was allegedly “ripped down” by security staff.
More trigger words from Mr Trump and Mr Christie - "ISIS" and "Hillary Clinton" prompted screams from the audience, followed by more protests.
“They’re disrupters,” said Mr Trump. “Democrats are seeing what’s happening and they want to disrupt what’s happening."Reuse content