Fighting at Trump rallies escalates, with police using pepper spray against protesters in Kansas City.
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has said that his supporters would likely riot if his party denies his nomination at the July convention.
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday after a string of primary election victories, Trump warned that there could be a major uproar if he falls just short in the delegate count and loses in a rules fight.
Trump might fall short of the majority required, enabling the party establishment to put forward another name at the convention in Cleveland to formally pick its candidate.
“I don’t think you can say that we don’t get it automatically. I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have riots. I’m representing many, many milions of people,” he said.
“If you just disenfranchise these people, I think you would have problems like you’ve never seen before.”
After scoring big wins in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina, Trump is now the only candidate with a path to clinching the Republican nomination before the party’s convention in July. But he still must do better in forthcoming contests to get the necessary 1,237 delegates, leaving some opponents with a sliver of hope that he can still be stopped.
Meanwhile, the Economist Intelligence Unit, a British research organisation, has warned that if elected, Trump’s presidency could have damaging impacts on the economy, trade, and fuel terrorist attacks.
Trump was ranked as one of the top 10 global risks in an updated list on Wednesday.
“In the event of a Trump victory, his hostile attitude to free trade, and alienation of Mexico and China in particular, could escalate rapidly into a trade war,” the organisation said.
“His militaristic tendencies towards the Middle East (and ban on all Muslim travel to the US) would be a potent recruitment tool for jihadi groups, increasing their threat both within the region and beyond.”
Trump’s decision to withdraw from the next Republican debate scheduled for Monday in Utah has forced Fox News to cancel the event after presidential rival John Kasich said he would not participate in it without the frontrunner on stage.
Trump told Fox News, which hosts the party’s debates, in an interview on Wednesday that he would not appear at the event because he thought the Republicans had “had enough debates”.
The billionaire had also skipped a Fox News debate in Iowa in January amid complaints that he had been mistreated by the network.
He has long clashed with anchor Megyn Kelly and revived criticism of her on Tuesday, calling her on Twitter “crazy” and “unwatchable”.
The Iowa debate went on as scheduled, despite Trump’s decision to host a rally at the same time.