Donald Trump has blasted the protesters who swarmed the outside of the state Republican Party's annual convention in San Francisco where he was due to give a speech.
In a tweet he posted on Saturday, the GOP front runner called the demonstrators 'thugs and criminals' after he was forced to sneak in the back door of the Hyatt Regency hotel in the suburb of Burlingame.
'The "protesters" in California were thugs and criminals. Many are professionals. They should be dealt with strongly by law enforcement!' Trump tweeted.
On Friday Trump had to be led across a grass highway median and in a back-door loading dock at the Hyatt Regency to avoid the furious protesters.
Trump felt like he 'was crossing the border, actually,' he said.
Led by his regular protective detail and Trump's private bodyguard Keith Schiller, the Republican front-runner's arrival became a full-blown media spectacle, with cable news channels interrupting their broadcasts for helicopter live-shots.
Their audiences were treated to the sight of the 69-year-old Trump hopping nearly three feet down from a cement barrier to the grass below, skirting between two chain-link fences, and then climbing uphill in his expensive suit and shoes while local police and California Highway Patrol kept liberal activists at bay on the other side of the hotel.
'That was not the easiest entrance I've ever made,' Trump joked when he eventually took the stage. 'My wife calls – she says, "There are helicopters following you"'
'And then we went under a fence, and through a fence. Oh boy, I felt like I was crossing the border actually, you know? I was crossing the border but I got here.'
'You all walk through the lobby. I'm going under fences!' he told the audience of party loyalists.
As he finished his remarks, a mashup of his stump-speech themes, Trump looked offstage to his security detail that was getting ready to take him out the same way he came in.
'I know they're waiting,' Trump said.' They're gonna take me under a fence, through a field.'
'Oh, you have no idea the route they have planned for me to get out of here!'
At least one person was detained outside as shouting matches between anti-Trump protesters and pro-Trump supporters occasionally clashed. A few protesters even stole an American flag and burned it, drawing angry responses from both sides. A Trump effigy was also burned.