Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said that the Secret Service agents who guard his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton should disarm to “see what happens to her” without their protection.
“I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons,” Trump said on Friday night at a rally in Miami, 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 comments were an echo of widely condemned remarks he made in August at a campaign rally in Wilmington, North Carolina where he had suggested that gun rights supporters should rise up against Clinton if she were elected to stop her from appointing judges who might favour stricter gun regulation, the New York Times reported.
Trump never apologised for the comments, despite angry denunciations from Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.
In response to Friday night’s remark, 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,” the New York Times quoted Mook as saying.