Katrina Pierson, a spokeswoman for the Donald Trump campaign, on Wednesday morning presented a new explanation for the Republican nominee’s Tuesday remark about “Second Amendment people” and Hillary Clinton.
Pierson said that Trump was referencing the power of the National Rifle Association and the gun lobby’s potential ability to persuade senators not to approve the nominee Clinton appoints to the Supreme Court if she is elected president.
When asked about Trump’s comment on MSNBC, Pierson said that the line was not a joke and said that the campaign “issued a statement last night talking about the political power of the NRA.”
MSNBC’s Kate Snow then noted that the order of Trump’s comments made it seem like he was talking about what “Second Amendment people” could do after Clinton was elected president. Trump said, “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
Pierson then brought up the power of the NRA in the Senate, noting that “there are even Democrats who won’t touch gun legislation in an election year because the NRA has been able to take out Democrats as well and even been able to block appointments to high-ranking positions.”
“So they do have a lot of political power, even beyond just turning out voters,” she said.
“No one is talking about the power of the NRA on the Democrat side. They have been able to stop senators from appointing people that are hostile towards the Second Amendment. And that’s what he’s talking about,” she later added. “That would be the only way to stop something like that happening, is if the NRA were able to get out there and stop these senators from approving anyone that was hostile to the Second Amendment because there’s a lot of political power there, even for Democrats.”
Pierson’s comments differ from the explanation provided by other members of the campaign. In a Tuesday evening statement, Trump spokesman Jason Miller mentioned voting, not pressure in the Senate.
“It’s called the power of unification – 2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump,” he said in the statement.
And vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said that Trump was “urging people around the country to act consistently with their convictions in the course of this election.”