A protestor who led to Donald Trump being bundled off stage by Secret Service officials has denied being a Democrat plant.
Austyn Crites was shoved to the ground and searched during a Republican rally in Reno, Nevada, when cries of “gun” rose up from the audience.
Secret Service agents immediately pushed Mr Trump down and formed a human shield as they shoved him off stage.
In reality, Mr Crites had nothing more than a placard, which said “Republicans Against Trump”.
Following the incident, there were claims that Mr Crites had been planted there by Democrats supporting Mr Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton.
But, the protestor said those suggestions were “ludicrous”. He added: “I stand by my principles, and that’s the reason why I felt compelled to go in there to hold up the sign.”
Mr Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told reporters that the protestor must have been a “Democratic plant of operative”.
However, Mr Crites, said while he has donated money to Mrs Clinton’s campaign and canvassed for her, he has never met her or her aides.
Mr Crites said people in the crowd were booing him and then suddenly things took a turn and became violent.
He said: “As I’m down there being choked, I hear something about a gun. I’m telling people ‘There is no gun, there is no gun. There’s just a sign. I only have a sign.'”
However, he was still subjected to searches by Secret Service agents and Reno police who took him backstage to look for a weapon. He was allowed to go after around an hour and a half when no gun was found.
Following the incident, Mr Crites says he has suffered abuse from online trolls.
He said he would support the Republicans if another candidate such as Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio was running.
Mr Crites added: “I actually liked Donald Trump when he was just a businessman who wrote about business. There was no ill will toward this man whatsoever until he started divisive rhetoric which I have zero tolerance for.”
Both Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton have been ramping up their campaigns in the final hours before America puts its cross on the ballot paper.
Mrs Clinton has just received a boost to her campaign after the FBI announced she had no case to answer in relation to emails sent from her personal email server.

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Ann McDonald
Ann McDonald is a journalist who has worked for some of the reputed print and electronic media house in the country. She is a regular contributor to us and her articles are informative and uphold the view pint of contending parties. She specializes in issues about social justice, race and faith and has reported about the sectarian violence which has erupted regularly around the world. Humanitarian issues and cases of human rights violation are close to her heart and she has a tenacity to follow up all her news stories to their logical end. She has been awarded with various awards for her reporting.