Sleepiest badger Ben Carson roused himself early Monday morning to appear on some morning shows, where he defended his new BFF Donald Trump, claiming that violence at his rallies was the fault of protesters alone. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he called upon protesters at Trump rallies to engage in “civil discussion.” Just like Donald Trump and his sucker-punching voter base.

Carson didn’t exactly want to talk about Trump—“We don’t need to just focus on Donald Trump,” he noted, of the person he’d just endorsed and was appearing on television to discuss—but acknowledged that some people attending his rallies were “angry.”

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“You’re going to see him pivoting more in the direction of everybody,” Carson mused, “Rather than just those who are angry. And I think that’s something that will be demonstrated very clearly, very shortly. And it’s something, again, that all the candidates need to be talking about. We have to stop isolating one person and saying ‘You have to do this.’ We have a responsibility in this nation to help heal this nation.”

Meanwhile, on the TODAY show, Matt Lauer played Carson a couple clips of Trump doing Trump, urging his followers to “knock the crap” out of protesters.

“Are you comfortable with that temperament in the Oval Office?” Lauer asked.

“That probably is not the way I would handle it,” Carson conceded. “But recognize that the people of America is not at a place I’m at. They’re more at a place that Donald Trump is, because they’re so frustrated and they’re angry and they’re tired of people trying to manipulate them. I think you’re seeing a magnetic phenomenon here, because he represents where people are.”

A ringing endorsement.

Savannah Guthrie followed up by asking if Trump bears any responsibility for the violence at his rallies, by, say, calling for someone to punch a protester in the face.

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“Well, again, I think we have a tendency to focus on the wrong thing there. The problem is that there are those who are being taught that if someone disagrees with you, you have the right to interfere with their First Amendment rights,” Carson murmured.

Carson also said Trump and “Bernie Sanders and Mrs. Clinton” had a “wonderful opportunity” to “stand up and start talking to people about what First Amendment rights are.”

Carson closed by saying that if the “protesters continue with their Alinsky-ite tactics, there is a real possibility of escalation, because those who are the victims of them have two choices. They can submit to them and meekly just do whatever those protesters do whatever those protesters want them to do or they can fight back. And if they decide to fight back there could be an escalation.”

Saul Alinsky, a community organizer, is a bit of an obsession for Carson; he also brought him up during his concession speech at CPAC. Alinsky died in 1972.

So there we are. There it is all is.

Here are both clips:

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Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.
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Screenshot via TODAY.