During the Florida leg of his “thank you” tour, Donald Trump set the world of news abuzz by saying his supporters were “vicious, violent, nasty and mean,” throughout his presidential campaign.
"You people were vicious, violent, screaming, 'Where's the wall? We want the wall!' Screaming, 'Prison! Prison! Lock her up!' I mean, you are going crazy,” he told an audience in Orlando.
Now, a lot of people interpreted the statement as an admission — a much-lacking and much-needed acknowledgment by the president-elect of all the violence perpetrated by his supporters at his rallies.
But they were all wrong.
While Trump indeed called his fans violent, vicious, nasty and mean, he meant that entirely as a compliment.
“I mean, you were nasty and mean and vicious and you wanted to win, right?" Trump continued.
In this part of his statement, it is clear that the boorish billionaire, in fact, condoned his violent supporters instead of condemning them. To be even more precise, Trump defended them, saying all those times his supporters punched, pushed, dragged, shoved, humiliated and spat at people, it was all for a cause: to win.
But he didn’t stop there.
Trump went on to say that everything was somehow A-OK because he won and his supporters had become “mellow.”
"But now, you're mellow and you're cool and you're not nearly as vicious or violent, right? Because we won, right?" he added.
Ironically, as Trump uttered these lines, the crowd broke out in "lock her up!" chants at least twice. Furthermore, at the same rally, while one Trump supporter called for former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s waterboarding, another threw an empty water bottle at a reporter following the rally, according to CNN.
Despite Trump not really calling out his supporters, some of them got upset nevertheless.
Of course, the president-elect quickly appeased them during a speech at another event in Mobile, Alabama, by insisting he was just "laughing and having fun" when he said his supporters had been "vicious" and "violent" during the campaign.
So, no. Trump still doesn’t think the unprovoked assaults on protesters at his campaign events should be denounced.
And it isn’t at all shocking. After all, he was the one who egged on his supporters to attack other people and paid their legal fees.
And this man will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2017.