In Sworn Deposition, Trump Says He Has Real Concerns About Being Killed By a Piece of Fruit

Tomatoes. Pineapples. Bananas. To some, these are innocent pieces of fruit you might enjoy in caprese salad, a refreshing blended drink, or sliced up and scattered atop a bowl of cereal. You might have even done so today, without a care in the world. But did you ever stop to think of the darker, more sinister side of these fruits we have long so casually consumed, frequently in the presence of children? Donald Trump has. And he’s here with a grave, urgent message.

Tomatoes, pineapples, and bananas are dangerous weapons that can take a person’s life, the former president claimed in a deposition he sat for last October, transcripts of which were filed in court on Tuesday and viewed by The Daily Beast. Furthermore, if someone showed up to one of his rallies bearing such ammunition, it would justify beating them up, he argued. Trump was being questioned under oath as part of a 2015 lawsuit brought by a group of activists who alleged the Trump Organization’s chief of security, Keith Schiller, hit one of them on the head when they were protesting outside of the company’s Manhattan headquarters. While the then presidential candidate was not present when the incident occurred, lawyers for the plaintiff wanted to speak with him to determine if he was responsible for his employees’ conduct.

That led to the attorneys bringing up a 2016 campaign rally at which Trump told attendees, “If you see someone getting ready to throw a tomato, just knock the crap out of them, would you?” Asked why, Trump testified that his campaign had been told that day that someone was “going to throw fruit,” which put him on high alert. “You get hit with fruit, it’s—no, it’s very violent stuff. We were on alert for that,” Trump said. “It’s worse than tomato, it’s other things also. But tomato, when they start doing that stuff, it’s very dangerous. There was an alert out that day.” He added: “I wanted to have people be ready because we were put on alert that they were going to do fruit.” And if you thought that was all he had to say re: the deadliness of various pieces of fruit, you thought wrong!

“Some fruit is a lot worse…tomatoes are bad, by the way,” he continued. “But it’s very dangerous. No, I wanted them to watch. They were on alert. I remember that specific event because everybody was on alert. They were going to hit, they were going to hit hard.” Asked about telling rallygoers that he’d cover the legal fees of anyone who “knock[ed] the crap out of” a tomato-possessing protester, Trump doubled down on the idea that he faced a “serious threat.”

One of the lawyers asked: “Is it your expectation that if your security guards see someone about to throw a tomato that they should knock the crap out of them?” To which Trump responded yes, but that they shouldn’t just limit themselves to protecting him from tomatoes. “A tomato, a pineapple, a lot of other things they throw,” he said. “Yeah, if the security saw that, I would say you have to—and it’s not just me, it’s other people in the audience get badly hurt—yeah, I think that they have to be aggressive in stopping that from happening. Because if that happens, you can be killed if that happens.” Asked if he was literally saying that someone winding up a tomato justified “the use of physical force,” Trump assented, adding another fruit to the list. “To stop somebody from throwing pineapples, tomatoes, bananas, stuff like that, yeah,” he replied. “It’s dangerous stuff.”

Trump, of course, has a long history of inciting violence. In addition to telling rallygoers to “knock the crap out of” any protesters bearing tomatoes, he’s also previously instructed police officers to let suspects’ heads knock against the side of their squad cars; told supporters, of a protester who’d been ejected from an event, “I’d like to punch him in the face”; openly fantasized about “Second Amendment people” preventing the appointment of liberal judges; and endorsed assaulting reporters. Plus, that whole January 6 insurrection business. So it’s not surprising to hear him justifying the use of force, though we have to say we didn’t expect him to do so via a long treatise on fruit. Anyway, good to know, as he gears up for a potential 2024 run, that he’ll literally deploy any excuse whatsoever to harm his critics.

A Trump spokesperson did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.

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