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Trump Takes On Ohio After Chicago Protests


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Melissa Block. Donald Trump addressed his supporters in Dayton, Ohio, today, and he had this explanation for why he canceled last night's rally in Chicago.


DONALD TRUMP: And it was determined that if we go in it could cause really bad, bad vibes. And you have to understand, they want me to tell my people please be nice, be nice. My people are nice. The people that people came there were so nice.

BLOCK: Last night, Trump supporters and protesters clashed inside the Chicago arena. Reporter Lewis Wallace of member station WYSO was at Trump's rally today in Dayton and joins us now. And, Lewis, what else did Donald Trump say about last night's scene in Chicago from his perspective?

LEWIS WALLACE, BYLINE: Well, he definitely led with telling the crowd that the people who were there to see him in Chicago are people just like you, people you can identify with, people who want to make America great again and that they were not the ones who caused the disruption in Chicago. He then went on to suggest that it had been a planned disruption, a planned attack and specifically pointed the finger at Bernie Sanders. Bernie supporters, he said, were leading the way with that, although he also said there might have been some Hillary supporters there. In general, he was really, really clear on the point that he believes that any Trump supporters were not the people who caused the problems yesterday in Chicago, and the crowd was excited to hear him reiterate that.

BLOCK: And in terms of today's rally there in Dayton, what about the protesters there?

WALLACE: There were a few dozen people outside who started off kind of down the block and around the corner trying to really steer clear of any altercations. They ended up coming a little closer and then several of them - it's impossible to say how many - came inside. After a few minutes, they started disrupting the event one by one and were escorted out one by one. So at a certain point, it was, like, every four or five minutes of the speech would go by, there would be another sort of outcry and somebody would be escorted out by Secret Service.

BLOCK: Now, at one point in the rally in Dayton today, something seemed to have happened on stage. Secret Service suddenly swarmed around Donald Trump. What was the security presence like there?

WALLACE: There was Secret Service everywhere, as well as local police. I am told from somebody who was close to that scenario that somebody jumped the barricade, didn't get close to Trump at all and then was immediately swarmed by Secret Service and again escorted out.

BLOCK: Lewis, there's a key primary in Ohio on Tuesday, and there's been a lot of question about whether Ohio's governor, John Kasich, could possibly get a win there, what his base of support will be in his home state. As you've talked to voters in Ohio, what are you hearing?

WALLACE: He's been a really popular governor, especially, of course, with his own base of Republican voters. People generally like what he stands for. All of that said, there is just a lot more kind of hype and excitement around Donald Trump right now. And some of the folks that I've talked to here at the rally this morning said that they would be happy to see Governor John Kasich as a vice president but not necessarily as a leading candidate.

BLOCK: OK, Lewis Wallace of member station WYSO covering this morning's Trump rally in Dayton, Ohio. Lewis, thanks so much. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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