Protests turn into violent clashes in DC overnight

U.S.

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) —  Several thousand supporters of President Donald Trump in Washington protested election results Saturday afternoon before nighttime clashes with counter demonstrators sparked fistfights, at least one stabbing and at least 21 arrests.

The protest dubbed “Million MAGA March” began at noon at Freedom Plaza.

After night fell, the relatively peaceful demonstrations in Washington turned from tense to violent. Videos posted on social media showed fistfights, projectiles and clubs. The tensions extended to Sunday morning. A variety of charges, including assault and weapons possession, were filed against those arrested, officials said. Two police officers were injured and several firearms were recovered by police.

Warning: the images below may be graphic for some viewers.

The “Million MAGA March” was heavily promoted on social media, raising concerns that it could spark conflict with anti-Trump demonstrators, who have gathered near the White House in Black Lives Matter Plaza for weeks.

In preparation, police closed off wide swaths of downtown, where many stores and offices have been boarded up since Election Day.

On Saturday morning, the crowd cheered as Trump’s limousine neared and people lined both sides of the street. Some stood just a few feet away from Trump’s vehicle; others showed their enthusiasm by running along with the caravan.

President Trump persists with his claims and lawsuits even though a broad coalition of top government and industry officials has declared that the Nov. 3 voting and the following count unfolded smoothly with no more than the usual minor hiccups — “the most secure in American history,” they said, repudiating his efforts to undermine the integrity of the contest.

The issues that Trump’s campaign and its allies have pointed to are typical in every election: problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost. With Biden leading Trump by wide margins in key battleground states, none of those issues would have any impact on the outcome of the election.

Trump’s campaign has also filed legal challenges complaining that their poll watchers were unable to scrutinize the voting process. Many of those challenges have been tossed out by judges, some within hours of their filing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 1998 - 2020 Nexstar Inc. | All Rights Reserved.