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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

WSU College Republicans leader says he was attacked amid D.C. inauguration protests

James Allsup, president of Washington State University’s College Republicans, says a protester struck him in the head Thursday night at the “Deploraball” inauguration celebration in Washington, D.C. (James Allsup, via Facebook)

The president of Washington State University’s College Republicans, an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump, received a bloody head wound in what he described as an assault by a protester Thursday night at the “Deploraball” inauguration celebration in Washington, D.C.

Amid unruly protests outside the National Press Club in downtown Washington, James Allsup, a 21-year-old WSU student from Seattle, told Fox News “a white male” struck him with a flagpole in the back of the head while he and a friend were “grabbing drinks” in the neighborhood.

Photos on his Facebook page show Allsup sitting on a curb beside police officers, with blood gushing from his head, coating his hand and splattered on his white “Make America Great Again” hat.

Allsup has not responded to a message seeking comment, but he wrote in a Facebook post: “Thank you everyone for your kind wishes. I am about to have my head stapled up then I’ll be on my way. Remember that this is what happens when you disagree with the ‘tolerant left.’ ”

Allsup has led a faction of Trump supporters on WSU’s Pullman campus since early in the campaign season. As president of the Washington College Republican Federation, he gave an opening speech at Trump’s August rally in Everett. He regularly feuds with political opponents on social media, including recently when he tried to organize a campus speech by Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

In a separate scuffle Thursday night in D.C., Allsup was punched in the face by a masked “antifascist” protester after he grabbed another protester who had stolen his hat.

A video Allsup posted on YouTube shows him debating an unmasked protester while the masked man stands behind him in a crowded street, holding a flag with outstretched arms. When the masked man holds the flag too close, draping it over Allsup’s shoulder and backpack, Allsup turns around and issues a threat.

“Do not (expletive) touch me. Do not touch me. Do not touch me. … I do not follow the NAP,” he says, apparently referring to a nonaggression pact.

The masked protester continues holding the flag against Allsup, and Allsup says something to him that’s difficult to hear in the video. The protester then plucks the cap off Allsup’s head, prompting Allsup to chase and grab him from behind. A second masked protester punches Allsup in the face before security guards step in.

After a brief shouting match, Allsup retrieves his hat and faces the camera, grinning as he says, “I just got punched in the face.”

The punch appears to have happened before the flagpole assault because no blood can be seen on Allsup’s head in the video.