UPDATED, 5: 27 PM: The Secret Service, the National Rifle Association and a famous gunshot survivor are having their say about Donald Trump’s comments about “the Second Amendment folks.” First there’s this no-nonsense tweet from the group whose agents are trained to take a bullet to protect American VIPs:
And from the group whose mission is to protect Americans’ right to bear arms:
And then there’s this from a former congresswoman who survived a head wound suffered in a 2011 mass shooting:
PREVIOUSLY, 1:33 PM: Hillary Clinton’s campaign wasted no time in responding to Donald Trump’s statement today that either raised the specter of a threat against the Dem nominee or was just more loose talk from her GOP rival. Did Trump call for her opponents to take up arms if Clinton is elected? “If she gets to pick her judges,” the GOP nominee said at a rally in North Carolina, “nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is. I don’t know.”
Hillary for America campaign manager Robby Mook quickly issued a statement in response to the comment: “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.”
Except that it’s not so simple. Is it just a case of the Teflon Don again spewing comments that happen to cross his mind while he’s at a lectern? Was it just a dumb joke about, you know, assassinating his political rival? Or is this something more, something different, as Trump rolls with his “rigged election” mantra to rile up his hardcore backers? Well, his campaign defended the comments as simply a way to rally the supporters of the right to bear arms around him. “It’s called the power of unification,” Trump senior communications adviser Jason Miller said in a statement. “2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump.”
Reminder that today’s Trump comments come as the candidate supposedly is making a renewed push to stay on script as the general election nears. If that one indeed was in the script, it’s a safe bet the words weren’t plagiarized from one of the Obamas.