- AP/ Evan Vucci
President-elect Donald Trump lauded the unrestrained behavior of his supporters on the campaign trail at a “Thank You Tour” rally Friday in Orlando, Florida.
“You people were vicious, violent, screaming, ‘Where’s the wall? We want the wall,” Trump said. “I mean you were nasty and mean and vicious and you wanted to win right?”
Trump’s characterization is a departure from claims he routinely made on the campaign trail that his rallies were peaceful.
“There’s no safer place to be than a Trump rally,” then-candidate Trump said.
The president-elect’s supporters would often erupt in “lock her up” chants directed at Democrat Hillary Clinton. Other times, Trump would direct his ire toward journalists in attendance, who were regularly jeered by the audience.
The rallies often turned violent when Trump supporters and protesters tangled up in the crowds.
In August, A New York Times video chronicled a litany of obscenities and slurs that Trump rally attendees aimed at Clinton, her supporters, and minorities.
“F— those dirty beaners,” one could be heard saying in the video.
At a rally in February, Trump said he would like to punch a protester “in the face,” and later pledged to cover the legal fees of his supporters who became violent with protesters.
The raucous behavior at Trump’s rallies led to Clinton’s now-infamous takedown where she described some Trump supporters who promoted bigotry and sexism as a “basket of deplorables.” Trump and his fans quickly co-opted the moniker.
With the election now over, Trump claims his supporters have changed their ways.
“Whatever happened to the deplorables? They’re not so deplorable anymore,” Trump said.
“But now it’s much different. Now you’re laid back, you’re cool, you’re mellow right? You’re basking in the glory of victory.”
Watch Trump applaud his supporters:
— CNN (@CNN) December 17,2016