News and Commentary

MSNBC Host Downplays Violence in New Mexico Anti-Trump Riot

According to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, protesters stomping on police cars and hurling burning shirts, rocks and bottles at cops is “low-key violence.”

During the Wednesday installment of “Hardball,” the left-leaning host discussed the riot that erupted outside a Trump rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico Tuesday night. About 100 anti-Trump protesters — many of whom were waving Mexican flags and chanting “F*** Donald Trump!” — assaulted police, vandalized vehicles and committed arson. Despite the dangerous display, Matthews downplayed their riotous actions as “low-key violence” and blamed the whole incident on Trump, whom he accused of “taunting” and “encouraging” the protesters.

“Give us a sense of the element of danger,” Matthews said to Albuquerque Police Officer Tanner Tixier. “I don’t see violence yet. I did see the police car with the windshield smashed. I’ve heard about other incidents of violence, low-key violence so far.”

“I’m not quite sure what you mean by low-key violence, Chris,” said Officer Tixier.

“Well, I don’t see anybody with a face bloodied yet, or I don’t see any danger to anybody yet,” Matthews interjected. “You tell me.”

“I was trying to, sir,” said the officer. “Earlier in the night we had people who were throwing rocks and bottles at our police officers. They were throwing shirts lit on fire at our police officers. Through an amazing amount of restraint through our officers, no one was hurt severely. At this point of time it looks more like it’s just a mass riot from people who aren’t necessarily anti-Trump but just looking to cause some problems.”

Matthews asked if any officers had been injured yet, Tixier said none had been injured yet, though reports suggests that officers and even one police horse were in fact injured.

Despite Tixier’s account, clearly outlining all the violence, Matthews concluded, “I don’t think they’re that violent.”

When discussing the riots with panelist Robert Costa of the Washington Post, Matthews blamed Trump for the leftist and illegal immigrant violence, describing him as “taunting” and “encouraging” the protesters to riot.

As CNN reported, some of the rioters proudly proclaimed themselves to be illegal immigrants, a group of about a dozen protesters unfurling banners inside the rally that read “Undocumented Unafraid” and “We’ve heard enough.” Many of the protesters outside were waving Mexican flags.

Here’s some more footage from the protest-turned-riot in Albuquerque:

WARNING language again: Trump protestors riled up, inching closer to police & doors of rally entrance @krqe

— Gabrielle Burkhart (@gburkNM) May 25, 2016

WARNING language: Part 2 of scuffle btw. Trump supporter in wheelchair & protestors after water thrown @krqe

— Gabrielle Burkhart (@gburkNM) May 25, 2016

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