The first time I realized that Donald Trump took pleasure in violence was back in March 2016. In an interview, I asked him about the brutish rhetoric and violence at his rallies and the way he goaded supporters to hate on journalists and rough up protesters. Even then Mitch McConnell was urging Trump to ratchet down the ferocity.

I told Trump that I had not seen this side of him before and that he was going down a very dark path. With his denigrating mockery of rivals and critics, he had already taken politics to a vulgar place, and now it was getting more dangerous.

Shouldn’t parents be able to bring children to rallies without worrying about obscenities, sucker punches, brawls and bullying, I wondered?

He brushed off the questions and blithely assessed the savage mood at his rallies: “Frankly, it adds a little excitement.”