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A Donald Trump supporter who allegedly assaulted a young woman during a campaign rally last year is claiming the president is to blame in his response to a lawsuit against him.
Alvin Bamberger, 75, who is accused of shoving protester Kashiya Nwanguma at a Louisville, Kentucky, rally on March 1, 2016, alleges in a cross claim filed Friday that he would not have touched the woman had then-candidate Trump not urged his supporters to remove protesters from the venue.
"Bamberger had no prior intention to act as he did," reads the response to the suit filed in U.S. District Court for Western Kentucky. "Bamberger would not have acted as he did without Trump and/or the Trump Campaign’s specific urging and inspiration."
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Three protesters at the event — Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau — alleged in the original suit against Trump, Bamberger and Matthew Heimbach that audience members pushed and shoved them after being incited by Trump.
In a widely shared video of the incident, the president is heard saying "get them out" and pointing at the trio. The plaintiffs argue they were just there to "peacefully protest."
In his cross claim, Bamberger's attorney Stephen Pence wrote that Trump "promised to pay the legal fees of those who — following Trump's urgings — removed the protesters" at multiple rallies." As such, he claims Trump should be held liable.
Pence also wrote that Bamberger admits he touched the woman, but did not "assault" her.
"[Bamberger] denies that he assaulted that woman, lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the woman’s identity, and denies the characterization of his actions as 'most aggressive' or 'shoving ... and striking,'" the cross claim reads.
The veteran previously apologized for the events that unfolded at the rally in a letter to the Korean War Association, whose uniform he wore at the rally. He admitted that he "physically pushed a woman down the aisle toward the exit" in the letter, according to the lawsuit. Bamberger was never criminally charged for his actions.
The latest legal move comes two weeks after federal judge David J. Hale ruled that the lawsuit against Bamberger, the Trump campaign and Heimbach can proceed. The judge also rejected Trump's free speech defense against allegations that he incited violence.
"It is plausible that Trump's direction to 'get 'em out of here' advocated the use of force," Hale wrote in an opinion filed March 31. "It was an order, an instruction, a command."
Trump's attorneys responded to the suit on Friday suggesting that while he did say "Get them out of here," the words were not directed at the crowd and that he told security not to hurt the protesters.
Trump also claimed he is "immune from the suit because he is president of the United States."