Donald Trump threatens to send supporters to Bernie Sanders rallies

The GOP front-runner blames Sanders supporters for the canceled Trump rally Friday in Chicago.

A Bernie Sanders supporter holds up a sign Saturday during a Donald Trump rally in Cleveland.
A Bernie Sanders supporter holds up a sign Saturday during a Donald Trump rally in Cleveland. –Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images

Following a series of violent and disruptive campaign rallies this weekend, Donald Trump is blaming Bernie Sanders.

In a tweet Sunday, Trump warned that his supporters might show up at Sanders’ rallies, alleging that the Vermont senator’s campaign organized the protests that led to the cancellation of the Republican’s rally Friday in Chicago.

In an interview Sunday with CBS’s John Dickerson on Face the Nation, Sanders flatly denied the accusations.

“I won’t shock you, John, by telling that you Donald Trump lies a whole lot,’’ Sanders said. “He calls me a communist. That’s a lie. To suggest that our campaign is telling people to disrupt his campaign is a lie. We don’t.’’

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A Trump rally in Chicago was postponed Friday due to safety concerns amid massive protests that included some Sanders signs. Moveon.org, a progressive advocacy group that endorsed Sanders, said Saturday they “helped student leaders by printing signs and recruiting MoveOn members to attend the student-led protest.’’

A Bernie Sanders sign in a crowd of protesters cheering, as a Chicago rally Friday for Donald Trump was canceled. —Joshua Lott / The New York Times

In Trump’s first event since the postponed rally, the Republican candidate blamed the violence that took place on Sanders’ campaign.

“These other people, by the way, some represented Bernie, our communist friend,’’ Trump said Saturday at a rally in Ohio. “With Bernie, he should really get up and say to his people: stop. Stop.’’

But Sanders said his campaign was not involved with the protests, even if his supporters were. In a statement Saturday, he called Trump a “pathological liar.’’

As is the case virtually every day, Donald Trump is showing the American people that he is a pathological liar. Obviously, while I appreciate that we had supporters at Trump’s rally in Chicago, our campaign did not organize the protests.

What caused the protests at Trump’s rally is a candidate that has promoted hatred and division against Latinos, Muslims, women, and people with disabilities, and his birther attacks against the legitimacy of President Obama.

In a news conference Saturday, Sanders said his supporters were “responding to a candidate who has, in fact, in many ways, encouraged violence.’’

Sanders is among a growing chorus of Trump critics that say the Republican candidate’s rhetoric has incited the violence that occurs at his rallies. All three of Trump’s Republican opponents, as well as Sanders and Hillary Clinton, have said Trump created the environment that has resulted in violent clashes between supporters and protesters.

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But in an interview Sunday on Meet the Press, Trump said he did not accept responsibility for creating such an atmosphere.

“I do not condone violence in any shape,’’ he said.

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