When protesters disrupted President Donald Trump's rally in New Hampshire Thursday night, he took notice and sent some derision of his own, mocking one man in the group for a "serious weight problem."
But the target of Trump's insults was actually a supporter of the president's, not a protester, and Trump called him and thanked him for his support later on that night.
Trump left a voicemail from Air Force One Thursday night after the rally at Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester, a senior administration official told NBC News.
Frank Dawson, a resident of Woburn, Massachusetts, confirmed to NBC10 Boston that the president left him the message, and while he wouldn't play it for a reporter, he said that Trump offered his thanks.
"He thanked me for helping him out last night," Dawson told The Boston Globe, in a more extensive interview. He said he is a retired U.S. marshal who ripped signs away from the protesters as they were being escorted out of the arena.
As that was happening, Trump stopped speaking and watched the disruption unfold in the mezzanine behind him, along with the vast majority in the raucous arena. Several people walked toward an exit.
That's when Trump made the remark about the man's weight: "That guy's got a serious weight problem. Go home, start exercising. Get him out of here, please. Got a bigger problem than I do. Got a bigger problem than all of us. Now he goes home and his mom says, "What the hell have you just done?'"
Dawson didn't hear that part, telling the Globe that he had "tunnel vision" in dealing with the protesters. But he's not bothered.
"If President Trump gets good press out of it, I love it," he told the Globe.