RNC Chair on Violence at Trump Rallies: ‘Both Sides Need to Condemn Violence’
STEPHANOPOULOS: "Let’s get more on this now from the chair of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus. Mr. Priebus, thank you for joining us this morning."
PRIEBUS: "Good morning."
STEPHANOPOULOS: "You just heard that interview with — with Mr. Trump. He certainly seemed to be much more interested in explaining and excusing the violence against protesters than in condemning it. Has he done enough to contain the violence at his rallies?"
PRIEBUS: Well, look, I mean, I think he’s trying to make the point that we want to talk about both sides. But clearly both sides need to condemn violence. And violence is never the answer. And I think as far as everyone getting involved in the crowds, leave it to the professionals. I mean, the sheriff there was in the crowd and Secret Service is there and that’s their job to do it. And I think that’s the best place to leave it. So look, violence is never the answer. Condoning violence is never the answer. It’s not what we’re about and I think — I think everyone agrees with that."
STEPHANOPOULOS: "Everyone agrees with it. But what have you told — I know you speak with the Trump campaign and Mr. Trump himself. What have you told him about this? This is not the first time it’s happened. We’re seeing this happen again and again and again."
PRIEBUS: "Well, I mean we’ve talked a little bit about it and obviously they agree that violence is not the answer and that they don’t condone it and that they tell the crowds that they don’t condone it. So look, it’s obviously not completely in my control what happens at these rallies and what people say and do. But I’d leave it to the professionals and I would continue to talk about the fact that we need to have a solutions-based campaign and not obviously something that, you know, creates an environment that violence is present —"
STEPHANOPOULOS: "So when you say leave it to the professionals —"
PRIEBUS: "— I don’t think —"
STEPHANOPOULOS: "— when you say leave it to the professionals —"
PRIEBUS: "Yes, I think —"
STEPHANOPOULOS: "— does that mean then the campaign manager should stay — should stop engaging protesters?"
PRIEBUS: "Look, you know, I don’t know all the circumstances, George. You know, I’m just sitting here this morning, just like you. I haven’t talked to them about it. Obviously my point would be leave those things to the professionals. Don’t get involved in crowds and those altercations and that’s why the pros are there."