Donald Trump defended statements he made at a campaign rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, blaming faulty interpretations and media bias for an uproar over his comments about the Second Amendment.
The Republican presidential candidate was speaking at a rally about his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton possibly appointing liberal justices if she is elected.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” said Trump as the crowd booed.
“By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” he continued. “Though the Second Amendment people—maybe there is, I don’t know.”
The Clinton campaign responded swiftly.
“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 the Democrat’s campaign manager Robby Mook in a statement.
Trump’s campaign defended his comments saying he was not suggesting violence against Clinton, but instead he was citing the influence gun rights supporters have at the polls.
“Give me a break,” Trump said hours after the rally, insisting he was referring to the power that voters hold. He told Fox News that “there can be no other interpretation.”
“It’s called the power of unification—2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power,” Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller 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,” he added.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 9, 2016
Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine responded to Trump’s comment.
“I saw it reported and when I read the quote I really frankly couldn’t believe he said it, and so I went to watch the video of it and found that he had said it exactly the way it was printed,” Kaine told reporters in Texas, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Nobody who is seeking a leadership position, especially the presidency, the leadership of the country, should do anything to countenance violence, and that’s what he was saying,” he said.
Speaker Paul Ryan, who won his House primary on Tuesday said “It sounds like just a joke gone bad.”
“You should never joke about something like that,” Ryan said.
On Twitter, “2nd Amendment” started trending as people quickly responded to Trump’s comments.
Secret Service Aware
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) called for the Secret Service to investigate the GOP candidate over his remarks.
“Donald Trump suggested someone kill Sec. Clinton. We must take people at their word,” said Swalwell on Twitter.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) August 9, 2016
“The Secret Service is aware of the comments made earlier this afternoon,” the agency said in a tweet on Tuesday.