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Trump described fear of being hit by killer tomatoes at speech during deposition: ‘It’s very violent stuff’

‘Yeah, it’s dangerous stuff’

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Wednesday 27 April 2022 18:57 BST
Trump tells supporters to 'knock the crap' out of protesters.mp4
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Windmills are apparently not the only benign object that former president Donald Trump considers potentially lethal threats to human life.

In a transcript of a deposition he gave as part of a lawsuit against protesters allegedly assaulted by his private security guards in front of his eponymous New York City skyscraper, the twice-impeached ex-president was asked about his exhortation to attendees at a February 2016 campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to “knock the crap” out of anyone they might see preparing to throw a tomato”.

Pressed on whether he recalled making such a statement, Mr Trump replied: “Oh yeah. It was very dangerous,” and said he and his entourage had been “threatened”.

When the attorney deposing him asked what he had been threatened with, Mr Trump said “they were going to throw fruit” at him and stressed that he had been advised of such a threat.

“We were told. I thought Secret Service was involved in that, actually. But we were told. And you get hit with fruit, it's – no, it's very violent stuff. We were on alert for that,” he recalled.

Mr Trump told the attorney that his remark telling the crowd to “knock the crap out of” would-be fruit-slingers “was said sort of in jest”.

Asked if he was trying to “incentivise people to engage in violence,” the ex-president replied in the negative.

“I wanted to have people be ready because we were put on alert that they were going to do fruit. And some fruit is a lot worse than – tomatoes are bad, by the way. But it's very dangerous,” he said.

Mr Trump said he would have paid the legal fees of anyone who’d followed his direction to stop an imminent tomato-throwing, but recalled that no such intervention was needed.

Continuing, the attorney asked him if he also expected his private security guards to “knock the crap” out of would-be tomato throwers.

Mr Trump replied that his concern was not limited to tomatoes, but also included potentially thrown pineapples and “a lot of other things”.

“Yeah, I think that they have to be aggressive in stopping that from happening. Because if that happens, you can be killed if that happens,” he said.

Asked if “getting aggressive” referred to physical force, Mr Trump said it would if meant “stop somebody from throwing pineapples, tomatoes, bananas, stuff like that”.

“Yeah, it’s dangerous stuff,” he added.

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