Political News

Trump: Disarm Clinton's bodyguards, 'let's see what happens'

Posted September 17

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the James L. Knight Center, Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

— Donald Trump was making his usual sarcastic call for Hillary Clinton's Secret Service agents to be stripped of their firearms when he added an aside to his rally remarks: "Let's see what happens to her."

Soon after, Clinton's campaign said such a reference to violence was out of bounds.

Trump has long incorrectly suggested his Democratic opponent wants to overturn the Second Amendment and take away Americans' right to own guns. In Miami on Friday, his riff about confiscating the agents' guns went further.

"I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm, right?" Trump asked the crowd. "Take their guns away, she doesn't want guns. Take their — and let's see what happens to her. Take their guns away. OK, it would be very dangerous."

Trump's meaning was not immediately clear and a campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for an elaboration.

But the Clinton campaign had a quick reaction. Her campaign manager, Robby Mook, released a statement saying Trump "has a pattern of inciting people to violence. Whether this is done to provoke protesters at a rally or casually or even as a joke, it is an unacceptable quality in anyone seeking the job of Commander in Chief.

"This kind of talk should be out of bounds for a presidential candidate," Mook wrote.

A Secret Service spokeswoman declined to comment.

The seemingly ominous comment evoked a remark Trump made last month that many Democrats condemned as a call for Clinton's assassination. Speaking at a rally in North Carolina, the Republican nominee erroneously said his opponent wants to "abolish, essentially, the Second Amendment."

He continued: "By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know."

Within minutes, the Clinton campaign condemned the remark. Mook said then, "A person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way."

Trump later disputed that criticism, saying everyone in his audience knew he was referring to the power of voters and "there can be no other interpretation."

Trump, who has the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, eventually took to Twitter to say the Secret Service had not contacted him about the remarks.

The comments Friday in Miami came hours after Trump finally reversed his long-held position that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Appearing in Washington, he said Obama was born in the United States but then incorrectly suggested that the Clinton campaign had started the conspiracy theory.

Trump ignored questions from reporters about his switch and has yet to explain why he abandoned the "birther" stance that fueled his political fame and was viewed by critics as an attempt to delegitimize the nation's first African-American president.

While campaigning in South Florida, which has a large Cuban-American population, Trump also said that if he's elected president, he will reverse Obama's efforts to normalize relations with Cuba — unless the country abides by certain "demands." Among those, he said, would be religious and political freedom for the Cuban people and the freeing of all political prisoners.

Trump says he'll "stand with the Cuban people in their fight against communist oppression."

The comment marks yet another reversal for the GOP candidate, who previously said he supported the idea of normalized relations, but wished the U.S. had negotiated a better deal.

Trump also said the U.S. has a broader obligation to stand with oppressed people — a comment that seems at odds with his "America first" mantra. "The next president of the United States must stand in solidarity with all people oppressed in our hemisphere, and we will stand with oppressed people, and there are many," he said.

He added that the people of Venezuela "are yearning to be free, they are yearning for help. The system is bad. But the people are great."

Trump has often cited the country as a model of a failed state, warning that if Clinton is elected, she'll turn the U.S. into Venezuela.


Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in Washington contributed to this report.


Reach Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire


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  • Tracy T. Dalrymple Sep 17, 9:53 p.m.
    user avatar

    Not once has HC wanted guns taken away! She just wants to make it more difficult to purchase a gun, better known as "common sense gun laws." It's harder to adopt a dog than to get a gun. If the belief is that everyone should own guns, then let everyone own musket loaders. I'm sure when our forefathers came up with the second amendment, they would agree with me on this one. An assault rifle is too easy to purchase and if you hunt with one you're not normal. As far as Trump being sarcastic about HC's agents, he wasn't. He was once again passively initiating anger and violence.

  • Pete Muller Sep 17, 6:34 p.m.
    user avatar

    Gentlemen, Have you taken your meds this morning? There has been nothing proposed during the Obama presidency that could be construed as trying to abolish the second amendment. Neither is there any evidence that Hillary wants to do so. You are making that stuff up. Shame on you.

  • Bryan Jeffries Sep 17, 6:11 p.m.
    user avatar

    "I'm fat, rich, and appeal to the least intelligent demographic and represent the worst in the United States" -Donald Trump

  • Norman Lewis Sep 17, 4:12 p.m.
    user avatar

    Trump's comment "lets see what happens to her" is not a veiled reference to violence. It refers to an expected major change in her behavior, public appearances etc. if she were to suddenly lose the massive armed shield that surrounds her day and night. Of course she wants to deprive the average American of the ability to defend ourselves and our families with a firearm if need be in favor of a deferential dependence on the Government for protection.

  • Buster Brown Sep 17, 12:43 p.m.
    user avatar

    Oh PLEASE--cut the dramatic exaggerations. Its well known that Obama and clinton want to restrict our 2nd amendment rights, and essentially want to disarm law abiding citizens. Yet she is guarded by a small army of armed guards. Take away that armed protection then lets see how serious she would be about taking away peoples right and ability to protect themselves.