Man who rushed Trump’s stage in Dayton thinks he might win again

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Security staff protect Donald Trump on stage after others tackled stage rusher Tommy DiMassimo (right side of video) at a 2016 Trump rally at Dayton's airport.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Donald Trump’s Dayton campaign event Monday is scheduled to be at Wright Bros. Aero, the same spot where surprise stage rusher Tommy DiMassimo briefly interrupted the president’s public rally in March 2016.

But Trump won’t have to worry about DiMassimo jumping a barricade this time. Campaign officials said Trump will speak only to invited supporters and volunteers at 4:30 p.m. and DiMassimo, who lives in California now, says doing it again wouldn’t be his style, even if he was here.

“To quote ‘Ocean’s 13,’ you never run the same gag twice,” he said.

ExploreTrump plans stops in Dayton, Toledo on Monday

In 2016, DiMassimo made it to the edge of Trump’s stage before being tackled by Secret Service and other security staff. He said at the time that he had hoped to get the microphone and urge people to stand up against the violence and racism that he said Trump was supporting.

He eventually pleaded guilty to entering “a restricted area where a person protected by the Secret Service was temporarily visiting, without lawful authority.” He was fined $250 and put on one year of probation.

DiMassimo, a former Wright State University student, is now pursuing a screenwriting career in the Los Angeles area. He said he participated in racial justice protests there this summer.

“What I saw four years ago was a pretty dangerous, disastrous situation unfolding … at least in presentation and performance, in a fascist context,” DiMassimo said. “Ultimately, we’re seeing that that’s getting worse.”

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Tommy DiMassimo being hauled away by Secret Service agents.

Tommy DiMassimo being hauled away by Secret Service agents.
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Tommy DiMassimo being hauled away by Secret Service agents.

DiMassimo said he thinks the protests going on nationwide this year are good, but that more substantive grassroots efforts to create long-term change in places like Minneapolis and Kenosha, Wis., are more significant.

DiMassimo, who’s in his mid-20s, said he’s encouraged by students and people in their 20s “rising up” more energetically this year than they did in 2016. He doubts he’ll take any dramatic action like he did in 2016 though.

“There would have to be an interesting twist on it. I always concern myself with the synthesis of performance and activism,” he said. “Everything I did was built to be spontaneous and yet to some degree theatrical. That’s my background.”

Explore2016 story: Trump stage rusher gets probation

DiMassimo said he doesn’t pay close attention to polls of how Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are doing.

“It would not surprise me in any way shape or form if he does get re-elected,” he said. “That’s on Trump’s ability to build a compelling narrative and the Democrats' inability to unify the left. … Democrats are painfully unaware of how divided the left is right now.”

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Thomas DiMassimo (Cox Media Group/File)

Thomas DiMassimo (Cox Media Group/File)
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Thomas DiMassimo (Cox Media Group/File)

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