On Tuesday, Donald Trump managed to once again shock voters during a Wilmington, N.C. rally. While repeating his made-up claim that Clinton wants to abolish gun rights, he casually hinted that the “2nd Amendment people” could stop her and any of her appointed Supreme Court justices. The overarching social media reaction was that Trump was quipping about assassinating Clinton, but his campaign still insists that he was only trying to rally people to vote.
The Clinton campaign swiftly declared Trump’s words to be “dangerous.” The names of federal agencies also began popping up in criticism. People called for an FBI investigation, and former CIA Chief Michael Hayden claimed anyone else would have been detained by police and questioned by the Secret Service. A former top official of the Secret Service even categorized Trump’s words as a “veiled threat.” However, Trump says a lot of outrageous things on a regular basis, so it was hard to believe that he’d actually face consequences for any comments, including these.
Well, Tuesday evening saw the Secret Service tweeting that they were “aware” of the remarks. A day later, CNN’s Don Lemon and Elizabeth Landers have confirmed multiple conversations between the Secret Service and the Trump campaign, which said Trump never intended to spur on violence.
CNN also published a report that quotes an anonymous Secret Service official, who confirms, “There has been more than one conversation” on the subject. While Secret Service Communications Director Cathy Milhoan won’t provide commentary, CNN seems satisfied with their agency source’s account of events. There’s not much chance that details of these talks will spill, and no one knows whether Trump himself was part of the meetings, but the feds are reportedly taking this seriously enough to touch base with Trump’s camp.
UPDATE: Trump has fired back on Twitter with a denial: “No such meeting or conversation ever happened.” He took a moment to insult CNN’s ratings too.
Reuters has also followed up on its own story by saying no one from the Secret Service “formally” spoke to the Trump camp.