Donald Trump attempted to clarify a controversial statementthat he made in reference to Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally in North Carolina on Tuesday.
Trump's remarks seemed to suggest that proponents of the Second Amendment could take violent action to prevent his Democratic rival from selecting new justices to sit on the US Supreme Court.
In making the suggestion, Trump alluded to his claim that Clinton would appoint judges who back policies meant to "take [Americans'] guns away."
"Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment," Trump said. "By the way, and if she gets to pick — if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know."
Prominent lawmakers quickly picked up on Trump's comments and questioned if the Republican presidential nominee had, in fact, suggested that gun owners take violent action against Clinton.
Trump later explained his remarks to Fox News host Sean Hannity, saying, "This is a political movement. This is a strong, powerful movement, the Second Amendment."
The NRA "agree[s] 100% with what I said and there can be no other interpretation. Even reporters have told me. I mean, give me a break," Trump added. Later on Tuesday night, Trump accused the media of trying to "distract" from what he called "Clinton's [anti-2nd Amendment] stance."
Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager, issued a statement denouncing Trump's words:
"This is simple — what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the President of the United States should not suggest violence in any way."
Clinton's press secretary, Nick Merrill, added that Trump's claim that Clinton is against the Second Amendment is false.