Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has suggested that the Secret Service agents who guard his rival Hillary Clinton, voluntarily disarm, "to see what happens to her" without their protection.
"Take their guns away, she doesn't want guns. Take them, let's see what happens to her," Trump told supporters at a rally in Miami on Friday.
I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm. I think they should disarm immediately, what do you think, yes?
In justifying his remarks, Trump falsely claimed that the Democratic presidential candidate wants to "destroy your Second Amendment", referring to the right to bear arms.
Clinton has called for tighter access to guns, including universal background checks, but has never said she planned to get rid of the Second Amendment.
Since before their official nominations, both candidates have been protected by Secret Service agents. Trump’s latest remarks have been widely condemned.
"Tonight, Donald Trump once again alluded to violence against Hillary Clinton," said Elizabeth Shappell, spokeswoman for Correct The Record, a pro-Clinton media watchdog group.
"This is a truly deplorable comment that betrays our nation's most fundamental democratic values," Shappell said in a statement.
Stuart Stevens, a Washington-based political consultant who worked on Republican Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, tweeted:
"Take their guns away, lets see what happens to her. Donald Trump on Hillary Clinton's Secret Service detail. https://t.co/CMDUqECviX
— adam nagourney (@adamnagourney) September 16, 2016
This isn’t the first time Trump has been accused of inciting violence.
It's become normal when one candidate implies assassination of another candidate. Good times. #newnormal
— Brooke Hammerling (@brooke) September 17, 2016
Last month, Clinton supporters accused Trump of calling for Clinton to be shot. He said only gun holders can stop Clinton from stripping away their rights.
If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks, although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know.
Trump's campaign said their candidate was not calling for violence against his rival.
Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook said Friday's remarks followed Trump's pattern of inciting violence against Clinton.
"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," he said.