At a rally in Miami Friday, Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton's bodyguards "should disarm immediately," so that Americans can "see what happens to her" if she is unguarded. Trump, who enjoys armed protection from the Secret Service, accused Clinton of "go[ing] around with armed bodyguards like you've never seen before," and insisted that Clinton's protection detail "should drop all weapons."
"I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons," Trump said. "I think they should disarm immediately. What do you think, yes, yes? Take their guns away! She doesn't want guns. Take their — let's see what happens to her. Take their guns away. It'd be very dangerous."
This isn't the first time Trump has made comments that appeared to advocate the shooting of Clinton. In August, Trump said in a speech that there's "nothing you can do" to ensure a conservative Supreme Court if Clinton gets elected to the presidency — then added that "although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is." Many people interpreted this as a call for Clinton's assassination, and the comment earned Trump a visit from the Secret Service. His campaign later released a statement insisting that the candidate was referring to the "political power" of pro-gun voters.
Here's what Trump said at the rally on Friday.
And here are his comments from August.
Without question, his call to disarm Clinton's bodyguards is the most dangerous anti-Clinton thing he's said during this campaign. He couched the comments in language about protecting the Second Amendment, but the meaning of his words is clear: Trump has just called upon Clinton's protective detail to relinquish their weapons so that the country can "see what happens to her" if she's unprotected. There is nothing ambiguous about that.
Ronald Reagan's daughter Patti Davis explained in August why comments like these are so dangerous. In a Facebook post, Davis noted that Trump's "second amendment people" remark was heard not only by "sane and decent people," but also by "the person sitting alone in a room, locked in his own dark fantasies, who sees unbridled violence as a way to make his mark in the world, and is just looking for ideas."
Not surprisingly, the Internet was dumbstruck and horrified at Trump's Friday remarks, and many who saw the speech initially didn't believe what they'd heard.
Unfortunately, he did indeed say what that everybody thought they heard him say. By hinting at Clinton's assassination twice in two months, Trump is acting far outside the bounds of acceptability for a presidential candidate. More so than ever before, he is playing with fire.