Donald Trump has once again insinuated that Hillary Clinton be assassinated, telling a crowd of supporters in Miami on Friday night that he thinks Clinton’s bodyguards should disarm in order to “see what happens to her.” The suggestion came after Trump falsely told the crowd that Clinton is “very much against” the Second Amendment and wants to “destroy” it. He then continued:
Guns. Guns. Guns. Right? I think what we should do, is — she goes around with armed bodyguards like you have never seen before. I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm. Right? … I think they should disarm immediately. … Take their guns away. She doesn’t want guns. Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away. Okay? It’d be very dangerous.
Not surprisingly, the comments — which elicited a big cheer from the crowd — were apparently not in Trump’s campaign-prepared remarks.
It was the second time that Trump has suggested that violence befall Clinton in relation to her gun-control positions, having told a crowd at a meeting of the National Rifle Association in August that there was “nothing you can do” to prevent Clinton from appointing Supreme Court justices if she was elected president, then adding, “Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.” He and his campaign later indicated the remark was in regards to the political power of gun-rights advocates, but the U.S. Secret Service still spoke with the Trump campaign about the comment.
For a major-party presidential candidate to make even one insinuation of violence or assassination regarding an opponent is of course unprecedented in modern American history — let alone two separate remarks, as Trump has now made. Then again, precedent has rarely applied when it comes to Trump and suggestions of violence.
Trump’s comment on Friday was also, in part, similar to other previous statements he has made on the subject, like this tweet he sent in May one day after receiving the NRA’s endorsement for president at their annual convention:
He said roughly the same thing again early Saturday morning:
The false statement that Clinton is opposed to the Second Amendment and wants to ban all gun ownership is one Trump has repeated throughout his campaign. Clinton has regularly said that she supports the right of American citizens to own guns, but wants additional “reasonable” restrictions on gun ownership, such as a ban on assault weapons, an expansion of background checks to more types of gun sales, and new measures to prevent criminals, suspected terrorists, domestic abusers, and the severely mentally ill from being able to purchase firearms. In the past, Clinton has also supported other gun-control measures such as the required registration of new guns.
Prior to making his suggestion about Clinton’s bodyguards on Friday night, the candidate framed the remark by insisting Clinton had, in her “basket of deplorables” comment about half of Trump’s supporters at a fundraiser last week, slandered “working people who just want a fraction of the security enjoyed by our politicians and certainly enjoyed by [Clinton.]” Trump also repeated his false assertion that some American inner cities are now more dangerous than war-torn Afghanistan.
In addition, Trump appeared to ridicule Clinton for taking time off from the campaign trail this week, which she did after suffering a bout of pneumonia and falling ill at a 9/11 memorial service in New York on Sunday. After saying Clinton “doesn’t have a lot of the energy” and is “totally unfit to be the president,” Trump bragged that he goes to multiple rallies in a day and asked the crowd, “Do you think Hillary Clinton can get through one?”
This post has been updated to include the tweet that Trump sent early Saturday morning and a link to a roundup of previous statements he has made about Clinton’s armed bodyguards.