On Tuesday, the Republican presidential nominee told supporters in North Carolina that November’s election will almost certainly be illegitimate, as his opponent will encourage widespread voter fraud.
Then Donald Trump decided to be a little less responsible with his rhetoric, informing his audience that Hillary Clinton plans to take away their constitutional rights — and that once she’s (fraudulently) elected, the only way to save our founding document will be through violence.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. And by the way, if she gets to pick her judges: Nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said. “Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”
Later Tuesday, Trump released a statement in which he acknowledged the gravity of his error and expressed his full-throated opposition to political violence in all its forms. Just kidding. His campaign actually released a statement condemning the “dishonest media,” while providing a transparently false explanation of the intended meaning of Trump’s remark.
Donald Trump said that if Hillary Clinton “gets to pick her judges” there will be “nothing you can do” — unless you are a Second Amendment person. The GOP nominee was, therefore, clearly describing the aftermath of Clinton’s election. At the very least, his campaign could have offered a superficially plausible misrepresentation of his remarks. For example, Team Trump could have said that the mogul was referring to the NRA’s capacity for drumming up opposition to Clinton’s Supreme Court picks in the Senate. But they refused to put that much effort into their lie.