Donald Trump may have gone too far this time as politicians and media alike call the Republican nominee for allegedly inciting violence against presidential rival Hillary Clinton.
Trump addressed a North Carolina crowd over the possibility of Clinton assembling a bench of liberal Supreme Court judges to dismantle the second amendment: the right to bear arms.
“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said, before adding: “Although the second amendment people – maybe there is, I don’t know.”
— Jay Sherman (@jstherealcritic) August 10, 2016
The comments were widely condemned as implying Trump supporters should use their guns against the Democratic White House hopeful.
Trump has been calling for Clinton to be thrown in jail over her hacked emails scandal, but this is the first time he has allegedly tried to incite violence against the candidate.
‘We must draw a line’
A Republican supporter listening to Trump’s speech could be seen looking at his seat partner in disbelief.
Donald Trump’s reaction to the outrage was to accuse journalists of trying to detract from Clinton’s anti-gun agenda.
Media desperate to distract from Clinton's anti-2A stance. I said pro-2A citizens must organize and get out vote to save our Constitution!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2016
Trump’s spin was that he was trying to rally pro-gun Republicans into voting against Clinton.
But American politician Gabby Giffords said Trump had finally crossed the line into dangerous territory.
“We must draw a bright red line between political speech and suggestions of violence,” she told media.
The Democrat said Trump’s words may not penetrate the minds of “stable people”, but could “provide inspiration or permission for those bent on bloodshed”.
Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, said “what Trump is saying is dangerous”.
Trump has become infamous for his personal, vitriolic attacks on his rivals and detractors.
Just last week, the Republican’s chance at the presidency seemed hurt by his attacks on the parents of a deceased US soldier – known as a ‘Gold Star’ family.
Trump alluded that Khizr Khan, a Muslim man, prevented his wife Ghazala from speaking at the Democratic Convention.
The comments were criticised by everyone from President Barack Obama to former Republican candidate Joe Biden.
And while Biden did not officially dis-endorse Trump, a growing list of Republicans have.
“Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values, nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country,” wrote Maine Senator Susan Collins in the Washington Post on Monday.
She joins fellow Republican senators Lindsey Graham, Mark Kirk and Ben Sasse.
A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that nearly one in five registered Republicans want Trump to drop out of the race for the White House.