After Donald Trump (clearly) suggested that gun-toting Americans could deal with his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton before she picks liberal Supreme Court judges, his surrogates are now scrambling to find the right words to defend him.
But nothing seems to be working.
For instance, Katrina Pierson, the ever-controversial spokesperson for the Trump campaign, provided a singularly cringeworthy defense of the remarks, which left many viewers scratching their heads.
“He was saying what could happen, as you said, what could happen,” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper, who pointed out that Trump was specifically talking about post-election events.
“He doesn’t want that to happen,” Pierson added. “And in order to stop that, people that support their Second Amendment rights need to come together and get out there and stop Hillary Clinton from winning in November.”
Meanwhile, she tried her best to smile throughout the exchange, which made the interview look even more awkward.
An equally baffling attempt to spin the comments came from Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who actually victimized Trump, saying he should not be blamed for having average speaking abilities. (For real.)
“You’re treating Donald Trump’s words like he is the most articulate person who’s ever graced our ears with his words, and that’s not true. He is not a politician,” Hunter told CNN host Wolf Blitzer. “He is not a person like you who’s very articulate, very well-spoken. He’s a businessperson who’s running for president.”
So Hunter defended Trump by essentially admitting the candidate doesn’t know how to talk — which is absolutely true, considering all his speeches and tweets. But while Trump may not be articulate, he knows exactly what he's saying. And he's following a well-worn pattern: say something outrageous by any standard, feign innocence and discrimination during the ensuing blow back and deny he ever said it or meant what was clearly implied, dirty work often done by Trump's surrogates.
It's happened on everything from attacking Gold Star families to disgusting words about reporters Megyn Kelly and Serge Kovaleski and now to assassinating Clinton.
Next up, came Trump’s spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany who tried to explain what the billionaire mogul said when he suggested Second Amendment supporters should deal with Clinton.
“I think he’s referring to the fact that the National Rifle Association is the most powerful lobby, hands down, in the United States,” said McEnany. “So if anyone can stop a very anti-Second Amendment agenda, it would be the NRA and the Second Amendment folks. And I think when he talks about Hillary wanting to roll back the Second Amendment, he’s referring to how she doesn’t like Supreme Court jurisprudence on the Second Amendment.”
Last but not the least, Paul Ryan, who only recently received Trump’s reluctant endorsement, reacted to Trump’s remark by saying it sounded to him like “a joke gone bad.”
The interesting part is that Ryan said he didn’t know what the statement actually was.