Donald Trump, speaking at a rally in North Carolina Tuesday, appeared to suggest that Hillary Clinton could be shot for appointing judges to the Supreme Court. "Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment," Trump told the Wilmington crowd Tuesday, according to a full transcript from CBS News. "If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don't know."
Trump's remarks drew immediate criticism, with many pointing to their suggestion of violence and the dangerous precedent that suggestion sets:
Within minutes of Trump's remarks, the Clinton campaign released a statement strongly condemning them as an outright suggestion of violence. "This is simple," Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement. "What Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the President of the United States should not suggest violence in any way."
The Trump campaign also issued a statement, appearing to paint Trump's remarks as a call for the "power of unification" among Second Amendment voters:
But the Trump campaign's assertion of the remarks as a nod to the "power of unification" doesn't seem to make much sense when considering their original context. Furthermore, as others quickly noted, the campaign's statement never explicitly denies a suggestion of violence:
The National Rifle Association of America wasted little time issuing their own statement on Trump's "Second Amendment people" reference, revealing they felt Trump was "right."
Rep. Eric Swalwell of California has called on the Secret Service to open an investigation into Trump's remarks. "We must take people at their word," Swalwell tweeted Tuesday. The Secret Service, meanwhile, has not issued a statement on Trump's remarks other than to confirm that they are "aware" of the situation:
Just last month, Trump made a similarly shocking remark calling for Russia's help in locating Hillary Clinton's emails. "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said during a news conference, the New York Timesreported. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."