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“Light the motherfucker on fire”: Donald Trump’s disturbing Las Vegas rally

Trump speaks at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino.
Trump speaks at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

Donald Trump supporters called for shooting protesters and setting them on fire, and one even yelled a Nazi salute, as security guards scuffled with hecklers and members of the Black Lives Matter movement who were disrupting a rally for the presidential frontrunner in Las Vegas.

BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins took this video, saying it was one of at least five or six scuffles at the Westgate Resort and Casino:

Coppins described a disturbing scene, including one supporter yelling, "Light the motherfucker on fire!" about a protester:

One after another, protesters were forcibly dragged from the ballroom — limbs flailing, torsos twisting in resistance — while wild-eyed Trump supporters spewed abuse and calls to violence.

"Kick his ass!" yelled one.

"Shoot him!" shouted another.

Other attendees yelled, "Sieg heil!" and, "He's a Muslim!" as protesters were dragged away, according to NBC News's Benjy Sarlin. And Trump used media coverage of the protests as an excuse to insult the media.

It's not the first time a Trump rally has been marred by violence. In November, a Black Lives Matter protester got in a physical fight with a Trump supporter, and Trump said "maybe he should have been roughed up."

That altercation followed a history of clashes between Trump supporters and Trump protesters, as Vox's Dara Lind wrote:

A protester was dragged out of a Trump rally in Miami. A Trump supporter ripped up a protester's sign. A Trump bodyguard was filmed sucker-punching a protester outside Trump Tower in early September. And at a rally in DC, photographers captured a Trump supporter pulling a protester's hair…

Donald Trump is not directly inciting violence. But violence is happening at Donald Trump events — with some frequency. It's alarming that Trump is not saying, repeatedly, that this is wrong and needs to stop.

Meanwhile, Trump is polling higher than ever, topping 33 percent.

Go deeper:

Watch: Donald Trump questions Ted Cruz's faith

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