Analysis

Trump turnaround on legal fees pledge

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The Donald proves as contradictory as ever

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Will he, won’t he? And no, we’re not asking whether Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.

What we want to know is whether The Donald will pay the legal fees of supporter John McGraw, who took endorsement of Trump’s rhetoric to new levels by, er, smacking his elbow into the face of someone he didn’t like at a rally.

In this video, McGraw can be seen deploying a move more commonly seen in the MMA arena than at pre-election political rallies. Walking purposely from his seat at an event in North Carolina, he elbows a black non-violent protester called Rakeem Jones in the face, almost knocking him over.

To his credit, Jones did not retaliate. Insult was added to injury when, moments later, police threw him to the ground and handcuffed him – not McGraw (who contends that Jones was “not acting like an American”).

So far, so farcical. So loaded with regrettable undertones, too.

But along comes Trump – who has previously suggested that if his supporters “rough up” dissenters at rallies, well, that’s no bad thing – to say that he will pay the now-arrested McGraw’s legal fees.

Which is even more bonkers than we’ve come to expect of The Donald. After all, attracting crackpots is one thing; aiding and abetting their criminal acts, by tacitly suggesting there will be but a limited financial downside to them, is another.
Until, that is, he changed his mind. Trump now says he might not pay McGraw’s legal fees after all.

It’s bit like the other week, when one minute he was coming out with the usual divisive Trumpisms, the next talking grandly of being “a unifier”.

Will the real Donald Trump please stand up? On second thoughts, maybe not.