The cable news networks have been giving extended coverage of a massive protest inside and outside the arena at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where Donald Trump was to hold a rally this evening, but was canceled it due to security concerns.
Trump phoned in to MSNBC’s extended coverage around 8:15 p.m., which came at the expense of GOP candidate John Kasich whose town hall hosted by Willie Geist was supposed to be airing at that time. It will air later tonight, we’re told.
“We announced that for security reasons we were going to cancel it and postpone and come back some other time,” Trump told Chris Matthews in what would turn out to be a 13-minute interview.
“Because you’re the guy running your campaign, do you want to tell the people with you not to engage with the protesters and not to give them a fight, not to engage?” Matthews asked.
“I did that in saying we’ll postpone the rally. We said be peaceful and go in peace. And for the most part they have,” Trump said. “There’s so much anger in the country. I don’t think it’s directed at me or anybody. It’s directed at what’s been going on for years.”
Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren continued with live coverage delaying The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News. CNN also continued live with John Berman filling in for Anderson Cooper.
Update: At 8:32, a few minutes after hanging up with Matthews, Trump phoned in to Fox News. “I don’t want to see people get hurt, or worse. It was a tremendous rally, but I don’t want to see it get worse,” Trump told Van Susteren. The Fox News interview ran for 17 minutes.
More: Trump then phoned in to CNN just after 9 p.m. In a 18-minute interview he told Don Lemon, “I hope my tone is not that of causing violence.”