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At rally for Clinton, Obama speaks up for protester supporting Trump


FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Reuters) - President Barack Obama chastised supporters at a rally for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in North Carolina on Friday as tensions spiked when a supporter of Republican opponent Donald Trump stood up and began shouting.

Obama was interrupted when a white-haired white man in a beret and suit jacket with what appeared to be military patches stood up with a Trump sign and started yelling. He was quickly drowned out by screaming and booing by the crowd, which was predominantly African-American.

Obama repeatedly told the at-capacity crowd jammed into a gym at Fayetteville State University to "focus" and to "settle down."

"Everybody sit down and be quiet for a second!" Obama said. "You've got an older gentleman who is supporting his candidate," he said as the protester was led away.

"We live in a country that respects free speech," he said. "It looks like he might have served in our military – we’ve got to respect that."

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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