President Donald Trump ridiculed the physical appearance of a man in the crowd of his Keep America Great rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Thursday night, telling the guy and everyone watching at home that he had a “serious weight problem” and should get some exercise.
Midway through a rally that had already featured him claiming that the stock market would crash if he weren’t re-elected, Trump’s typically off-the-rails speech was interrupted by demonstrators, and an apparent Trump supporter got up and grabbed a banner from their hands.
Trump, appearing only to spot the general commotion, saw the apparent supporter in the melee and the president took some potshots at the man after it seems he wrongly identified him as a protester.
“That guy has got a serious weight problem,” Trump yelled. “Go home, get some exercise!”
After demanding security escort the man out of the arena, the president appeared briefly self-conscious before returning to his taunts: “Got a bigger problem than I do. Got a bigger problem than all of us. Now he goes home and his mom says, ‘What the hell have you just done?’”
The Daily Mail identified the man who Trump mistakenly identified as a protester as Frank Dawson, and reported that he had no ill will toward Trump. “Everything’s good!” Dawson told Fox News. “I love the guy! He’s the best thing that ever happened to this country.” Trump also reportedly called and left a voice message for Dawson.
The interruption appeared to be led by a group of three young people holding two banners reading “Jews Against the Occupation,” according to a report from The Washington Post.
The organization behind the protest, IfNotNow, also told The Daily Beast that Trump's comments were directed at an individual who was shoving their members after they began chanting “Jews will not be used.”
Trump’s public critique of the man’s physical fitness comes after Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang made headlines Thursday for savagely ripping the president’s own athletic ability.
“I challenge Donald Trump to any physical or mental feat under the sun,” Yang said at an event in Iowa this week. “I mean, gosh, what could that guy beat me at, being a slob?”
He continued: “Like, what could Donald Trump possibly be better than me at? An eating contest? Like something that involved trying to keep something on the ground and having really large body mass? Like, if there was a hot-air balloon that was rising and you needed to try and keep it on the ground, he would be better than me at that? Because he is so fat.”