'History is watching,' the newsman warns

By Breanne L. Heldman
August 10, 2016 at 03:34 PM EDT
Ben Gabbe/Getty Images; Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Dan Rather refuses to ignore Donald Trump’s latest remarks.

The former CBS Evening News anchor ripped the Republican presidential candidate for statements Trump made about “Second Amendment people” stopping Hillary Clinton.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” Trump said in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Tuesday. “Though the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

“No trying-to-be objective and fair journalist, no citizen who cares about the country and its future can ignore what Donald Trump said today. When he suggested that ‘The Second Amendment People’ can stop Hillary Clinton he crossed a line with dangerous potential,” Rather wrote on Facebook. “By any objective analysis, this is a new low and unprecedented in the history of American presidential politics. … This is a direct threat of violence against a political rival.”

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He continued, “To anyone who still pretends this is a normal election of Republican against Democrat, history is watching. And I suspect its verdict will be harsh.”

In the wake of Trump’s Second Amendment comment, the candidate’s team released a statement blaming the “dishonest media” for turning it into a story. “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,” Jason Miller, Trump’s senior communications adviser, said in a statement titled “Trump Campaign Statement on Dishonest Media.” In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has said he will vote for Trump in November, Trump reiterated that his intent was to highlight unity with Second Amendment supporters.

“Once the words are out there they cannot be taken back,” Rather wrote in his post. “That is what inciting violence means.” See the newsman’s full commentary below.

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Rather wasn’t the only person to express anger at Trump’s comments. Director Rob Reiner slammed the Republican candidate, saying in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, “There are so many horrific things that he says that you become numb to it and think you can’t be shocked anymore, and then he says something like this. And even if he says he was joking, like he did about asking the Russians to hack into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, this is really not… We’re talking about somebody’s life here.”

Elizabeth Warren also chimed in on Twitter, writing, Trump “makes death threats because he’s a pathetic coward who can’t handle the fact that he’s losing to a girl.”

Following Trump’s remarks, the official Twitter account for the Secret Service posted, “The Secret Service is aware of the comments made earlier this afternoon.” Clinton’s campaign also condemned Trump in a statement: “This is simple — what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the President of the United States should suggest violence in any way.”

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