Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said the “Second Amendment people” – gun owners or those backing gun rights – could stop his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton from winning the White House and picking new US Supreme Court justices.
Trump’s intended message was not immediately clear, but lawmakers advocated that the 70-year-old billionaire tycoon had given an assassination threat to Clinton.
The Trump campaign quickly refuted any such inference and asserted that Trump meant political power to stop Clinton at polls.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Though the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know,” Trump told a cheering crowd at an election rally in Wilmington, North Carolina yesterday.
The Clinton campaign immediately expressed its outrage at Trump’s remarks.
“This is simple-what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the President of the United States should not suggest violence in any way,” said Robby Mook, Hillary for America Campaign Manager.
The Trump Campaign refuted the allegations and charged the “dishonest media” on trying to extract his Wilmington statement as inciting violence.
“It’s called the power of unification – 2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump,” said Jason Miller, senior communications advisor to the Trump Campaign.
In an interview later to a local television channel, Trump refuted such an allegation.
“If Hillary Clinton gets elected, I think she’s going to decimate the Second Amendment, if not abolish it. And she’ll do that through judges, through the justices of the Supreme Court. But the Second Amendment people have tremendous power because they are so united,” he told WNCN-North Carolina in an interview.
Several of Trump’s supporters came out in his defense.
“What he said very clearly was that if Hillary Clinton were elected president, she would get to appoint judges to the Supreme Court, and among the other things that they would do to destroy us, would be to do away with the Second Amendment and your right to bear arms,” former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said at an election rally later in the night.
“Now, is there anybody here that doubts that. And then he said, and you have the power to do something about it. And what he meant by that was you have the power to vote against her. You have the power to campaign against her. You have the power to speak against her. You know why, because you’re Americans,” Giuliani said.
However, Senator Chris Murphy in a series of tweets alleged that Trump had given an assassination threat to Clinton.
“Don’t treat this as a political misstep. It’s an assassination threat, seriously upping the possibility of a national tragedy and crisis,” Murphy said.