Republican frontrunner Donald Trump said that the protester, who rushed the stage to attack him at a rally on Saturday in Dayton, Ohio, was linked to ISIS. Thomas DiMassimo, 22, breached the barricade that surrounded Trump and approached the stage where the Republican presidential hopeful was delivering a speech, the police said.
DiMassimo was captured by the secret service agents and taken into custody, where he was charged with disorderly conduct and inducing panic. He was later released from the Montgomery Jail the same day.
NBC host Chuck Todd noted on “Meet the Press” that following the incident, Trump posted a video on Twitter that apparently showed the protester with a gun standing against an ISIS flag and an Arabic song playing in the background.
The video was posted with a tweet in which Trump said, “USSS (U.S. Secret Service) did an excellent job stopping the maniac running to the stage. He has ties to ISIS. Should be in jail.”
When Todd told Trump on “Meet the Press” that the images turned out to be a hoax, Trump said, “Well, I don’t know what they made up. All I can do is play what’s there. He was walking, dragging the American flag on the ground. Is that a correct statement? Was that a hoax, too? Was he dragging the flag on the ground?”
He added, “No, excuse me, you didn’t see the clip. He was playing Arabic music, he was dragging the flag along the ground, and he had Internet chatter with ISIS and about ISIS. So I don’t know if he was or not. But all we did was put out what he had on his Internet. (He) had chatter about ISIS, or with ISIS.”