UPDATE, 7:20 PM: “Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for President, has a pattern of inciting people to violence,” said Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager tonight in a somewhat rapid response to comments the former Celebrity Apprentice host made early Friday that the ex-Secretary of State’s Secret Service should “disarm.” Trump added at a rally on Friday: “Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, OK? It’d be very dangerous.”
Here’s how Hillary for America campaign manager Robby Mook responded just now:
Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for President, has a pattern of inciting people to violence. Whether this is done to provoke protesters at a rally or casually or even as a joke, it is an unacceptable quality in anyone seeking the job of Commander in Chief. This kind of talk should be out of bounds for a presidential candidate, just like it should be out of bounds for a presidential candidate to peddle a conspiracy theory about the President of the United States for five years. But we’ve seen again and again that no amount of failed resets can change who Donald Trump is. He is unfit to be President and it is time Republican leaders stand up to denounce this disturbing behavior in their nominee.
This is the second time in just over a month that the recently more disciplined Trump has talked about his rival and guns with implied threat.
Back on August 9, the GOP candidate got a lot of backlash, including from the Secret Service itself, when he talked bout the Second Amendment and Clinton. “If she gets to pick her judges,” Trump said that day in North Carolina, “nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is. I don’t know.”
Back then Mook also responded for the Democrat’s camp: “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.”
PREVIOUSLY, 5:14 PM: In today’s back-and-forth match between the GOP nominees and a worn-down news media, suddenly it’s Advantage Trump. That’s because Donald Trump just told a rally that Hillary Clinton’s bodyguards “should drop all weapons — they should disarm.” Fair enough, Mr. Apprentice, but what about this little patented aside that followed? “Take their guns away! She doesn’t want guns. Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, OK? It’d be very dangerous.”
To extend the tennis metaphor, Trump just slammed a two-fisted forehand down the media’s sideline, recovering control of the news cycle from this morning’s embarrassing backtrack when the Donald had to admit that the two-term American president actually was born in, you know, America. Of course, cable news immediately went to the panels, which had been convened to dissect the birther backpedal.
“I think this is in the category of what he said about the Second Amendment people taking care of Secretary Clinton,” Dem strategist Maria Cardona said on CNN, giving voice to what so many likely were thinking. “I think it’s vile. I think it’s putrid.”
Not so fast, Trump campaign senior adviser Boris Epshteyn countered. “He’s being sarcastic,” he said on Erin Burnett OutFront. “Just like he was being sarcastic when he said President Obama should get the MVP award from ISIS. Everyone should just ratchet it down a bit.”
And so it went, with much over-talking and finger pointing among those two and fellow panelists Basil Smikle, Outraged Clinton Supporter, and Kayleigh McEnany, Outraged Trump Backer. Result: Trump plays the media like a harpsichord yet again. Now let’s see what tomorrow — or perhaps the next hour — holds.