Rudy Giuliani rejects the notion Donald Trump alluded to Hillary Clinton’s possible assassination with his remark about how “2nd Amendment people” could stop her during a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina on Tuesday. Giuliani’s rationale? If Trump had really said that, his supporters would’ve cheered louder.
“What he intended was, that they should vote against her,” Giuliani, who introduced Trump at the rally, said Wednesday on Good Morning America. “With a crowd like that, if that’s what they thought he meant, they would’ve gone wild.”
Indeed, virulent anti-Clinton sentiment has increasingly characterized the Trump campaign. Attendees of last month’s Republican National Convention were able to purchase merchandise calling Clinton a “bitch” and a “tramp,” while on the convention floor they repeatedly chanted for her to be imprisoned. During a radio interview from the RNC, Trump adviser Al Baldasaro openly called for Clinton to be executed. Though the remark prompted Baldasaro to be investigated by the Secret Service, Trump has refused to sever ties with him. In fact, during a rally last weekend, Trump gave Baldasaro a shout-out, saying he’s “been so great.”
While Giuliani may have a point about the bloodlust of some Trump supporters, he’s wrong to suggest people at the rally in Wilmington didn’t immediately sense Trump crossed a line. Check out how an attendee sitting right behind him reacted to the “2nd Amendment people” line in real time:
Watch the face of the guy sitting right behind Trump, he knew exactly what Trump was talking about. pic.twitter.com/g4tMhREUre
— John Aravosis (@aravosis) August 9, 2016
Nonetheless, Giuliani and other Trump surrogates have been busy trying to spin the remark. During a CNN appearance minutes after the Wilmington rally wrapped up, Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson offered up a word salad that concluded with her emphasizing the Trump was merely talking about something that could happen, not about something he wants to happen.
“You know, so obviously, you’re saying that there’s a strong political movement within the 2nd Amendment, and if people mobilize and vote, they can stop Hillary from having this impact on the court,” Hannity said. “But that’s not how the media is spinning it.”
Trump replied that the controversy his comment has generated is “amazing” because “nobody in that room thought anything other than what you just said.”