— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) November 15, 2016
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is currently reported to be the favorite to be America's next secretary of state, has made it clear that he thinks the protesters who have been mobilizing to oppose Donald Trump's election are "goons and thugs."
The comments occurred after Giuliani was confronted about the wave of hate crimes from Trump supporters that broke out after the election.
“He [Trump] told people to stop doing what they’re doing,” Giuliani told the audience gathered at The Wall Street Journal's CEO council on Monday.. “He has no more control over them than President Obama or Hillary Clinton have over the goons and thugs that are in my city, that are destroying property, that are taking over streets, and that are yelling and screaming at Donald Trump.”
Despite Giuliani's implication to the contrary, the protests that have occurred in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco since Trump's election have largely been peaceful.
Giuliani's comments are similar to those made during an interview on Sunday with ABC's "This Week," when Giuliani doubled down on a claim made by Trump numerous times both during and after the election — namely, that the people protesting him weren't authentic but rather paid professionals. This allegation is largely based on a series of videos released by Project Veritas, an organization with a notorious past of doctoring footage to promote its right-wing agenda and which has direct ties to the Trump campaign.
Students exchange hi-fives with CHP officers while marching in protest through LA over the election of Donald Trump. pic.twitter.com/yIOGPgswrK
— Mark Boster (@MarkBoster) November 14, 2016
"But the major — the major focus here is the — at least the one — I was in one a couple of days ago where they saw me in the car and they started banging, banging on my car," Giuliani recalled. "So these are not — and — you know, I want to amend my statement a little bit. I 'm not sure these are even Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama supporters. I think these people are, you know, kind of like professional protesters more. They didn't look to me like —"
At this point host George Stephanopoulos asked Giuliani to clarify if he meant that to imply that all of the protesters were professionals.
"Well, yes, you gather a certain number of people around you but, you know, they look — they look — they didn't look to me like people who were, you know, carefully studying political science and were all upset about the ideology of the election," Giuliani responded.
The former New York City mayor's comments were echoed by Bob Dole, the Republican Party's presidential candidate in 1996, who told Fox Business Network's Neil Cavuto on Monday that "I don’t think they even know Donald Trump and that "I can’t understand what’s happening to the young people in America and what the future holds for the rest of this country if these young punks take over and continue their protests."
Watch Giuliani on ABC: