Did Donald Trump Just Suggest That Someone Might Shoot Hillary Clinton?

Maybe.

Evan Vucci/AP

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump seemed to suggest at a rally in North Carolina on Tuesday that Second Amendment advocates might take up arms against Hillary Clinton if she is elected.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” he told the crowd, which was booing the prospect of Clinton picking Supreme Court nominees. “Although the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is, I don’t know.”

What Trump meant isn’t entirely clear. He had been discussing the prospect that Clinton would pick justices who would “essentially abolish” the Second Amendment. But, as is the case with many of Trump’s statements at his rallies, he seemed to let a veiled threat hang in the air in the middle of a long and broken sentence.

Update, August 9, 4:10 p.m.: The Trump campaign released a statement claiming that Trump was talking about mobilizing gun rights supporters. “2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power,” said Trump spokesman Jason Miller.

The Clinton campaign responded with its own statement. “This is simple—what Trump is saying is dangerous,” said Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager. “A person seeking to be the President of the United States should not suggest violence in any way.”

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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