CNN Exclusive: ‘Trump is a bully,’ says man who rushed stage

When Thomas DiMassimo tried to rush Donald Trump’s stage in Ohio over the weekend, he had a clear goal in mind.

He wanted to send a message.

“I was thinking that I could get up on stage and take his podium away from him and take his mic away from him and send a message to all people out in the country who wouldn’t consider themselves racist, who wouldn’t consider themselves approving of what type of violence Donald Trump is allowing in his rallies, and send them a message that we can be strong, that we can find our strength and we can stand up against Donald Trump and against this new wave he’s ushering in of truly just violent white supremacist ideas,” DiMassimo told CNN.

This isn’t some college rally, nor is it stealing the podium from a controversial guest-speaker. This is rushing towards a presidential candidate. It goes beyond speech into straight recklessness. He should be charged and should not be on CNN. As Dave Hackensack points out, networks have learned that if you refuse to televise people rushing on the field, fewer people do. Inversely, if you publicize them, more people will try it.

This is spectacularly dumb, cannot be tolerated, and certainly can’t be encouraged. Someone may get hurt. Someone could get killed.

Category: Newsroom

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6 Responses to Please Do Not Make A Hero Of This Guy

  1. greginak says:

    Hero? Dude is epically clueless and deeply unwise. He could easily have gotten himself hurt and is just brain dead about how well he thinks his message would help what he wants to help. You want to broadcast your speech get a youtube account.

    • aaron david says:


      This is how people get shot, and that is out of Trumps hands at this point, as their are secret service guys with him now. For things just like this.

  2. Kazzy says:


    While I agree with the idea of the protests and vehemently oppose Trump, I’m really not sure what the point of these protests are. Over at OT, I theorized that the situation in Chicago was likely to hurt Trump as folks who might be undecided on him would be turned off by the ugliness. And while I do think that is a possible — and perhaps likely — outcome of these protests if done right, I’m not sure they are being done right. I say this as someone with zero experience as a protestor of any kind so I don’t know what standing I have to speak.

    I get how real the anger, the fear, and threat felt by folks engaging in the protests. I’d be hard pressed to fault them for protesting “wrong”. But, yea, these protestors leave much to be desired and those that cross very big and obvious lines… I don’t know how much sympathy I can muster for them.

    • I think part of the issue is that protests are blunt instruments. They seem to work best–where “best” means that they convince me, not necessarily others–when the message to be conveyed is clear AND the policy or person to be opposed or supported is clear AND the protests somehow overcome my own dislike of protests. That kind of applies to last week’s protests, though not the one Will is referring to here.

      I do admit that protest culture is very off-putting to me. A lot of high dudgeon and a strong sense of righteousness are needed to fuel protests, and those can easily come off, rightly or wrongly, as self-righteousness. I’ve been a participant in a few protests, and for me there’s usually been a tinge of “this isn’t right” or “even though I believe in the cause, I have to pretend to believe the cause is less complicated than it actually is.” There’s also a sense that protests, or at least mass protests, rely to some degree on the claim that might makes right, even if the cause is right to begin with. (And there’s another way to look at it, Lincoln’s “right makes might” claim.)

      Perhaps all these anxieties are just a consequence of leaving the clean world of pure forms and entering the dirty world of practical politics.

      Last Friday, I saw some of the people carrying anti-Trump signs and massing for the protest as I left work. At a significant level I was turned off by those signs and posters. And to be clear, they weren’t egregious or offensive (by almost any measure) signs, just the kind of sloganeering you’ll always see at protests. Even though I claim to sympathize with their goal of opposing Trump, at some level I started to sympathize with him, which makes me wonder where my true sympathies lie.

      • Kazzy says:

        I think some of the difficulty lies in understanding the purpose of the protest. Some protests are designed to quite literally stop something from happening. Think of people chaining themselves to a tree to avoid it being cut down. Yes, they are attempting to draw attention to an issue and voice their objection, but they are also literally standing in the way of an action they oppose.

        Do these protestors have that same aim? Maybe they do. In which case, these more extreme tactics will be effective insofar as they will probably prevent some (all?) Trump rallies from happening.

        But the issue isn’t Trump rallies. Or not just Trump rallies. If Trump doesn’t host a rally, he can still go on Fox or CNN or the debate stage or buy an ad and will continue to pursue the presidency. If their ultimate goal is to stop him from achieving the presidency, stopping the rallies isn’t much of a step towards that and might well bite them in the ass.

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