The mainstream media, egged on by the Hillary Clinton campaign, has attempted to paint the picture that Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that Second Amendment activists and gun owners would take violent action against the Democrat if she were to impose gun control measures as president.
The Clinton campaign played up the media reports that Trump suggested she should be assassinated. It was potentially bad news for the Republican presidential nominee, so the #NeverTrumpers had to get involved, too.
In reality, here's what Trump actually said during Tuesday's speech:
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'll tell you what. That will be a horrible day if—if Hillary gets to put her judges. Right now we're tied; you see what's going on. We're tied because Scalia, this was not supposed to happen. Justice Scalia was going to be around for 10 more years at least, and this is what happens. That was a horrible thing.
During an appearance on FOX News Channel with Sean Hannity, the GOP presidential nominee defended his remarks, as did many others on other news outlets, saying no one watching his speech got the impression he was suggesting armed rebellion or violence of any type. Hannity asked if Trump was instead referencing the NRA and other pro-Second Amendment groups' ability to organize grassroots opposition to gun control measures.
"This is a political movement," he said. "This is a strong, powerful movement, the Second Amendment. You know, Hillary wants to take your guns away. She wants to leave you unprotected in your home."
Noting that the NRA had previously endorsed Trump, he said the organization had just put out a statement that it agreed with his statement. Here's what the NRA tweeted on its official Twitter account:
@RealDonaldTrump is right. If @HillaryClinton gets to pick her anti-#2A #SCOTUS judges, there's nothing we can do. #NeverHillary
But there IS something we will do on #ElectionDay: Show up and vote for the #2A! #DefendtheSecond #NeverHillary
#Fact: The #2ndAmendment is on the ballot this November. ALL #2A supporters must unite to defeat @HillaryClinton #NeverHillary
@HillaryClinton is a hypocrite who will leave you defenseless. That is a fact. #HypocriteHillary #2A
Trump then told Hannity "there can be no other interpretation" of his words before launching into an attack on the dishonesty of the mainstream media. He concluded by reinforcing the point he made during his speech earlier in the day.
"What it is is there's a tremendous power behind the Second Amendment," he said. "It's a political power, and there are few things so powerful, I have to say, in terms of politics. There are few things.
"I happen to think that if they actually did even bring this up, I think it's a good thing for me because it's going to tell people more about me with respect to the Second Amendment because Hillary Clinton wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment. And if she puts Supreme Court justices on, she will decimate your Second Amendment."
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