Pence defends Trump: He was rallying gun owners to vote

GOP vice presidential nominee Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Kushner makes first appearance at coronavirus briefing Meadows sets up coronavirus hotline for members of Congress MORE came to his running mate’s defense on Tuesday after Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE appeared to joke about gun owners killing Democratic rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFormer Obama adviser Plouffe predicts 'historical level' of turnout by Trump supporters Poll: More Republican voters think party is more united than Democratic voters Whoopi Goldberg presses Sanders: 'Why are you still in the race?' MORE.

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During a rally on Tuesday, Trump was blasting Clinton for wanting to “essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” and warning the crowd that judges she nominated would likely gut gun rights.

“By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” he said. “Though the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know.”

Pence dismissed concerns that the remarks were a call to violence.

“I think what Donald Trump is clearly saying was that people who cherish that right, people who believe that firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens make our communities more safe, not less safe, should be involved in the political process and let their voice be heard,” the Indiana governor told an NBC reporter in Lancaster, Pa.

Trump's comments have already been widely condemned, though his campaign has sought to clarify the remarks, saying he was trying to mobilize gun rights activists to vote.

“It’s called the power of unification — 2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power,” said Trump spokesman Jason Miller in a statement. “And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump.”