“This is simple — what Trump is saying is dangerous.”
Donald Trump reached a new low on Tuesday when he suggested that gun rights enthusiasts could take it upon themselves to stop Hillary Clinton from nominating judges to the Supreme Court.
“Hillary wants to abolish – essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, 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 said during a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina. He went on to say that if Clinton “gets to put her judges in,” it would be “a horrible day.”
Many interpreted his remarks as a threat against Clinton’s life, or possibly the lives of Supreme Court judges.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) August 9, 2016
Trump joking about someone shooting Hillary is sick & dangerous. It’s how unbalanced people are inspired to murder. It trivializes violence.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) August 9, 2016
It’s unclear from that clip whether Trump was calling on his supporters to kill Hillary Clinton or to kill liberal Supreme Court justices.
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) August 9, 2016
“This is no longer about policy, civility, decency or even temperament. This is a direct threat of violence against a political rival,” said former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather in a Facebook post. “It is not just against the norms of American politics, it raises a serious question of whether it is against the law.”
Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, issued a statement in response: “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.”
Meanwhile, Trump dismissed concerns about his comments. “I mean, give me a break,” he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. Trump’s senior communications advisor, Jason Miller, was slightly more articulate: “It’s called the power of unification. Second Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power,” Miller said in a statement.
Whether Trump was, in fact, advocating an assassination attempt against Clinton, or rather calling for heightened political activism on the part of gun rights advocates, his rhetoric is clearly causing increasing alarm across the entire political spectrum.
Former CIA chief and retired General Michael Hayden said Trump must be held accountable not only for his words, but for how they are interpreted. “You’re not just responsible for what you say. You are responsible for what people hear,” Hayden told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “If someone else had said that . . . he’d be in the back of a police wagon now with the Secret Service questioning him.” And the communications director of the US Secret Service, Cathy Milhoan, told CNN that the agency “is aware of Mr Trump’s comments.”
For today, we’ll let Senator Elizabeth Warren have the last word:
.@realDonaldTrump makes death threats because he’s a pathetic coward who can’t handle the fact that he’s losing to a girl.
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) August 9, 2016
Image courtesy A. Katz / Shutterstock.com
Comment: Do you think Donald Trump was advocating violence against Hillary Clinton?