At a rally on Tuesday, the Republican presidential candidate casually suggested that the “Second Amendment people” might be able to stop Hillary Clinton from installing Supreme Court judges who would attempt to take away their gun rights. To many viewers, those words sounded like a threat. Just as he did after the whole baby incident, Trump is insisting that’s not what he meant and blaming the media for deliberately misinterpreting it. But this time, the stakes are a lot higher.
Thankfully, Trump has a loyal media servant in Hannity, who somehow scored a big interview with the candidate in primetime Tuesday night. First, the host cited an alleged tightening in the general election polls and touted Trump’s conservative credentials, accusing Republicans who have said they won’t vote for him of “helping Hillary.” But soon, after a few more minutes of Clinton-bashing and yet another relitigation of the baby thing, he moved on to the big story of the day.
“Speaking of unfair,” Hannity said—before agreeing with his guest that the media is fundamentally “unfair” because they won’t admit they are voting for Clinton in the same way he openly supports Trump—he played the clip of Trump’s Second Amendment comments.
“So, obviously you are saying that there’s a strong political movement within the Second Amendment and if people mobilize and vote they can stop Hillary from having this impact on the court,” Hannity told Trump. “But that’s not how the media is spinning it.”
“Nobody in that room thought anything other than what you just said,” Trump replied. "This is a strong powerful movement, the Second Amendment. Hillary wants to take your guns away. She wants to leave you unprotected in your home. This is a tremendous political movement. The NRA, as you know, endorsed me, they’re terrific people. Wayne [LaPierre] and Chris [Cox] and all the people over there and they tweeted out, basically they agree 100 percent with what I said.”
“There can be no other interpretation. Even reporters have told me,” Trump added. “I mean, give me a break.” He didn’t name those reporters, but of course, Hannity didn’t ask him to. Trump said, if anything, this whole controversy is a “good thing” for him because it will inform more people about his pro-gun stance.
Despite what Trump believes, there have been other interpretations, including former CIA director Michael Hayden, who told The Daily Beast, "If someone outside the hall had said it, I suspect the Secret Service would've considered it threat and detained the individual for questioning."
As for Hannity, he unsurprisingly declined to even play devil’s advocate with Trump on the issue, nor force him explain what makes him think Hillary “wants to take your guns away” when her campaign has repeatedly said she has no intention of repealing the Second Amendment or preventing law-abiding gun owners from keeping their firearms.
But none of this should be surprising from a pundit like Hannity who, earlier today, posted an article on his website that attempted to explain away Trump’s dismal poll numbers with an interesting bit of logic.
“Consider the two candidates’ Facebook accounts: Trump has over 10 million ‘likes’ while Hillary has just over 5 million,” the piece reads. “How about when the two candidates live stream their events? Trump averages 30,000 live viewers per stream while Clinton receives on average, a measly 500 viewers.”
The big conclusion: “Don’t let the polls discourage you.”
Rihanna’s Facebook page currently has close to 82 million “likes.” Maybe she should be our next president?