In an off-the-cuff remark at a rally in North Carolina on Tuesday, the Republican nominee told the crowd that “Second Amendment people” may somehow react if Clinton, Trump’s Democratic challenger, were to become president and choose a Supreme Court nominee they didn’t like.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump said. He added: “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.”
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook quickly responded, saying in a statement to reporters, “This is simple—what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way.”
The Trump campaign countered nearly as quickly, claiming the candidate’s comment was about “the power of unification” among gun-rights supporters.
“It’s called the power of unification—Second Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power,” Jason Miller, a senior communications adviser for the Trump campaign, said in a statement. “And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump.”
The NRA agreed with at least part of Trump’s sentiment.
The campaign did not directly deny that Trump’s comments encouraged violence against Clinton. Spokespeople for Trump did not immediately respond to requests for clarification about Trump’s comments.
A Secret Service spokesperson told the Daily Dot the agency had not received any complaints regarding Trump’s remarks and that it would issue no further comment regarding statements made by any candidates.