The Rev. Franklin Graham is expressing support for one teenager who was attacked by a political opponent who ripped his “Make America Great Again” hat off and began hurling obscenities toward him.
On Tuesday night, Hunter Richard was dining at a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio, Texas, with a friend when a man approached their table, yanked off the teen’s red hat — emblazoned with President Donald Trump’s well-known campaign slogan — and began verbally assaulting him for openly supporting the president, according to WOAI-TV.
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) July 5, 2018
In a Facebook post about the ordeal, Graham linked the incident to words from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who just weeks before encouraged progressive voters to openly harass members of Trump’s administration — an effort, she claimed, that is supported by God. Her comments came after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, because her presence made some of the eatery’s employees uncomfortable.
“Maxine Waters is encouraging attacks and harassment against Trump administration members, which we’ve been seeing happen,” Graham wrote. “Now it’s spilling over.”
“I’m sure Representative Waters is very proud of the person who did this — but I’m more proud of this young man’s thoughtful response,” he continued.
Graham also asked his followers to help “encourage” Richard in the comments section:
The man who accosted the pro-Trump teenager was later arrested for and subsequently fired from his bartending job after footage of his attack went viral on social media, Newsweek reported.
Graham came to Trump’s defense earlier this week after Walmart started selling — and quickly pulled — anti-Trump T-shirts featuring the phrase “Impeach 45” on them. In response, the conservative evangelist started selling shirts of his own scrawled with the words “Pray for 45.”
“We came up with a T-shirt to promote something that can really make a difference — PRAYER!” Graham said of the T-shirts.