The Republican frontrunner posted a video on Twitter claiming the protester had links to ISIS
Donald Trump has moved to defend himself after posting a hoax video on Twitter that accused a protester of having links to ISIS.
Thomas Dimassimo was arrested by Secret Service members after rushing the stage during a Trump rally in Ohio. He was later released, after being charged with inducing panic and disorderly conduct.
At a later rally in Missouri, Mr Trump claimed that "this was a guy that was looking to do harm... It was probably ISIS or ISIS-related, can you believe it?”
He then tweeted a video showing video of Mr Dimassimo dragging an American flag, accompanied by Arabic music. The billionaire again claimed the protester had links to ISIS.
However, the video was quickly debunked - with Buzzfeed reporting the video was "cobbled together from old footage in an attempt to troll Dimassimo".
Mr Trump was asked about the decision to post the hoax video by host Chuck Todd on the US TV show Meet the Press.
"He was dragging a flag along the ground, and he was playing a certain type of music - and supposedly there was chatter about ISIS," Mr Trump claimed.
"Now, I don’t know... what do I know about it? All I know is what’s on the internet. And I don’t like to see a man dragging an American flag along the ground in a mocking fashion," he added.
Experts who watched the video Mr Trump tweeted as evidence also called the allegation "utterly farcical".
"Trump's accusations about it being linked to ISIS serve only to underline the totality of his ignorance on this issue," said Charles Lister, a fellow at the Middle East Institute.
It has been a dramatic weekend in the campaign for the White House, after Trump was forced to cancel a rally in Chicago on Friday following scuffles between his supporters and protesters.
Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders yesterday referred to Trump as a 'pathological liar'.