Clinton’s bodyguards should disarm, says Trump

Washington, Sep 17 (IANS) Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is facing criticism after appearing to hint at the assassination of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for a second time, media reports said.

Trump on Friday night at a rally in Miami suggested Clinton’s security detail should give up their guns and “see what happens to her”.

“I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons,” Trump said, adding “I think they should disarm. Immediately.”

“Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, OK. It’ll be very dangerous,” the New York Times quoted the Manhattan billionaire as saying.

Presidential nominees are protected at all times by heavily armed teams of Secret Service agents, some uniformed and some undercover.

Trump’s comment, which came as he criticised Clinton over gun rights, was not the first time he has called for Clinton’s Secret Service detail to “disarm”. But it is the first time he has wondered aloud what would happen to her should she suddenly deprived of armed protection, CNN noted.

In response, Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, said Trump had shown “a pattern of inciting people to violence”.

“Whether this is done to provoke protesters at a rally or casually or even as a joke, it is an unacceptable quality in anyone seeking the job of commander in chief. This kind of talk should be out of bounds for a presidential candidate,” Mook said.

Friday’s remark comes just more than a month after Trump made comments that were interpreted by many as a threat of violence against Clinton.

“Hillary wants to abolish — essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment (the right to own guns) people, maybe there is, I don’t know,” Trump said during a rally in North Carolina in August.

The Trump camp later said he was referring to action through the ballot box, not violence.

The Secret Service has declined to comment on Trump’s Friday night remark, spokeswoman Catherine Milhoan said.

Trump’s remarks came just hours after the real estate magnate was forced to reverse his long-held position that President Barack Obama was not born in the US, the BBC reported.

Speaking at a campaign event in Washington, he said: “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.”

But he went on to accuse Clinton of starting the so-called birther controversy — President Obama’s citizenship conspiracy theory.

–IANS

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