Donald Trump has been accused of a making an ‘assassination threat’ against rival Hillary Clinton.
Speaking at a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Tuesday about the next president’s power to appoint supreme court justices, the presidential nominee said: “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the second amendment.”
The second amendment to the constitution, for those who don’t know, protects the right of Americans to bear arms – and Trump has accused his Clinton of wanting to abolish it.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) August 10, 2016
He then uttered perhaps his most outrageous – and dangerous – ad-lib yet:
“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the second amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day.”
Just let that soak in for a second.
One of the two major nominees for president just called for ‘Second Amendment people’ to ‘do’ something about his political opponent and/or her judges.
According to the Trump campaign’s response team though, he was talking about those ‘Second Amendment people’ coming together politically and voting.
But the Clinton campaign, and pretty much everyone else, saw it as a clear suggestion of violence against a political opponent.
His extraordinary remark was condemned by Democrats, with Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, saying: “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.”
Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting took place in 2012, went further in a tweet: “Don’t treat this as a political misstep. It’s an assassination threat, seriously upping the possibility of a national tragedy & crisis.”
Don't treat this as a political misstep. It's an assassination threat, seriously upping the possibility of a national tragedy & crisis.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 9, 2016
His tweet was backed by British novelist Salman Rushdie:
Of course the Trump flacks are now trying to confuse the issue, but Senator Murphy is clear about what Trump meant. https://t.co/7fDmDyCSjw
— Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) August 9, 2016
The Internet has had its fair share of opinions, too:
— NYC PARIS & Akash (@ShepsexualDream) August 10, 2016
— Paul Williams (@mimimw12345) August 10, 2016
A ball of fear forms in my heart every time Trump ratchets up his idiocy & nothing happens in the polls https://t.co/h57XD0c8Ww
— Ben Hatch Novelist (@BenHatch) August 10, 2016
2nd Amendment: DONALD TRUMP MUST NOW DROP OUT OF THE RACE b/c of his seditious green-lighting of supporters to assassinate Hillary Clinton.
— Stephan J Harper (@stephan_harper) August 10, 2016
As funny as it is to laugh at all of Trump’s ridiculous comments, though, it’s all actually very serious – and scary.
Could America really elect a president who has characterised Mexicans as rapists, called for the banning of Muslims entering the country, picked a fight with a military family and, now, hint at the assassination of his political rival?