Donald Trump's running mate says it is "nonsense" to suggest that the Republican presidential nominee was encouraging violence against Hillary Clinton when he told a crowd in Miami Friday that "her bodyguards should drop all weapons" and "let's see what happens to her."
In an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week," host Martha Raddatz asked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence what Trump meant by a comment that the Clinton campaign quickly denounced as "out of bounds for a presidential candidate."
"Well I think, you know, Donald Trump believes in the safety and security of every American, and any suggestion otherwise regarding Secretary Clinton is just nonsense," Pence said. "I mean, the point that he was making is that Hillary Clinton has had private security now in her life for the last 30 years, but she would deny the right of law-abiding citizens to have a firearm in their home to protect their own families. I think what Donald Trump was saying is that if Hillary Clinton didn't have all that security, she'd probably be a whole lot more supportive of the Second Amendment."
Trump has made the point Pence described several times before, without causing an outcry. In an address to the National Rifle Association in May, for instance, the real estate mogul said "heartless hypocrites like the Clintons ... want to get rid of guns, and yet they have bodyguards that have guns."
"Let's see how they feel walking around without their guns and their bodyguards," Trump added in that speech.
His remarks on Friday were more ominous -- focused not on Clinton's supposed hypocrisy and how she would "feel" without armed guards but on what might "happen to her" if the Secret Service were to disarm. "It would be very dangerous," Trump said in Miami.
On ABC, Pence blamed the media for making a big deal out of nothing.
"It really is remarkable," he said. "You know, I just joined this campaign a couple months ago but, you know, to be honest with you, Martha -- I've got a lot of respect for you -- but a lot of people in the national media spend more time talking about what Donald Trump said in the last day than they do about what the Clintons have been up to for the last 30 years."