A U.S. Secret Service officer has reportedly confirmed that the agency has contacted the Donald Trump campaign in reference to comments made about Second Amendment defenders “stopping Hillary Clinton.” Trump made the controversial remarks on Tuesday afternoon at a campaign rally, and they have been construed by many as the inexplicable GOP presidential candidate inciting violence against rival Clinton.
It’s clear. Inciting followers to kill your opponent when you lose the “rigged” election is the act of a psychopath. https://t.co/iRzqJBibSX
— Jeffrey Zeldman (@zeldman) August 10, 2016
Donald Trump made the comments that prompted Secret Service intervention during a campaign event — he was talking about Hillary Clinton having the right and responsibility of appointing U.S. Supreme Court justices. At the time, Donald Trump accused Hillary Clinton of wanting “abolish” the Second Amendment, going on to add that Second Amendment “people” might be able to do something about it, reports CNN.
“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. But I tell you what, that will be a horrible day, if Hillary gets to put her judges in, right now we’re tied.
Because the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution deals with the right to keep and bear arms, many have taken Trump’s comments to infer that gun owners should use their weapons against Clinton.
While the Secret Service’s Donald Trump interaction hasn’t been fully confirmed in detail in relation to the Second Amendment debacle, director of communications for the Secret Service, Cathy Milhoan, has told the public that the Secret Service is following the situation.
“The U.S. Secret Service is aware of Mr. Trump’s comments.”
Not surprisingly, Donald Trump has tried to downplay the perceived threat that so many (apparently including the Secret Service) in his comments about Hillary Clinton and the Second Amendment. He came out in defense of himself mere hours after making the controversial remarks, remarks that have reportedly garnered the attention of the Secret Service. According to Trump, he doesn’t want gun owners to shoot Clinton, he just wants them to vote against her for POTUS in November.
“This is a political movement. This is a strong political movement, the Second Amendment. And there can be no other interpretation… I mean, give me a break.”
— Kate (@katie_527) August 10, 2016
@thedailybeast Hitler couldn't have said it any better himself.
— Nessus (@GaryMil26845169) August 9, 2016
— Wes Boazman (@NewDawgFlo) August 10, 2016
— Tania Lake (@tania_lake2000) August 10, 2016
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has come out swinging against Donald Trump and his seemingly threatening Second Amendment comments. The Democratic presidential nominee, while declining to use her Twitter account to directly attack Trump, has retweeted several high-profile tweets that call Trump and his so-called gun-violence rhetoric. Rhetoric that is now, reportedly, being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 10, 2016
Hillary also retweeted a supportive message that also condemns Donald Trump by one of this generation’s most high-profile victims of politically-motivated gun violence.
.@realDonaldTrump might astound Americans on a routine basis, but we must draw a line between political speech & suggestions of violence.
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) August 9, 2016
In addition to getting support from Gabby Giffords and the New York Times, Hillary Clinton also got some (very concerned) love from the daughter of assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Bernie King’s social media rip on Donald Trump is particularly poignant in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“As the daughter of a leader who was assassinated, I find #Trump’s comments distasteful, disturbing, dangerous.”
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) August 10, 2016
In the midst of the fallout of Donald Trump’s Second Amendment comments, including a reported Secret Service investigation into the intent behind his words, Hillary Clinton is actually using the alleged incitement to violence to her benefit. Reportedly, the former Secretary of State has opted to use Donald Trump’s Second Amendment attack to seek more campaign donations to keep her White House bid thriving.
What do you think? Are people overreacting to Trump’s words? Is this just a case of Donald Trump (once again) putting his foot in his mouth? Or, is the Secret Service correct for investigating Donald Trump’s perceived incitement of gun violence against his political rival?
[Photo via John Moore/Getty Images]