Did Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggest his followers resort to gun violence against Hillary Clinton or her Supreme Court nominee if she won the general election? That’s what some political pundits are asking after a stump speech in Wilmington, North Carolina.
During his speech, Trump was speaking to the crowd about the open seat on the Supreme Court.
"If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks," he said. "Although the second amendment folks, maybe there is..."
.@realDonaldTrump: Maybe "2nd Amendment people" can do something about Clinton picking SCOTUS justices. https://t.co/nNZn2umKbl
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 9, 2016
Clinton's camp quickly responded with an official statement released on Twitter.
"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," Clinton campaign spokesman Robby Mook said.
"It's called the power of unification — 2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won't be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump," said Jason Miller, Senior Communications Advisor for the Trump Campaign.
Social media was quick to denounce the Trump's comments.
Guy behind Trump immediately realized what he said was a problem. https://t.co/F3mSP9GLqt
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) August 9, 2016
*Resets "Days Since Trump Has Said Something Insane" clock to 0* https://t.co/bAm3jH5r08
— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) August 9, 2016
I’m not shocked by Trump essentially calling for assassination. I am shocked that he got there 91 days from the election.
— (((Jesse Spector))) (@jessespector) August 9, 2016
The NRA, which has endorsed Trump, came out in support of the GOP nominee.
.@RealDonaldTrump is right. If @HillaryClinton gets to pick her anti-#2A #SCOTUS judges, there’s nothing we can do. #NeverHillary
— NRA (@NRA) August 9, 2016
The Secret Service also released a statement following Trump's comments.
The Secret Service is aware of the comments made earlier this afternoon.
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) August 9, 2016
Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, said on Tuesday that "of course" the the New York businessman wasn't encouraging violence. He said gun rights advocates "should be involved in the political process and let their voice be heard," according to the Associated Press.
Trump’s comments are just the latest controversy in what has been a tumultuous two weeks. In the past half-month, Trump has criticized the family of a fallen soldier, failed to immediately endorse his party's highest elected official and invited Russia to hack Clinton’s emails.
Election forecasters at FiveThirtyEight have downgraded Trump’s chance for victory from 50 percent to a mere 12 percent in the last two weeks.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.