During the 2016 campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump drew outrage for suggesting that the "Second Amendment people" could do something if then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won that cycle's presidential election.
Many saw it as a veiled call for his supporters to unleash violence on the former Secretary of State.
Four years later, Trump is drawing similar outrage for his questionable word choice regarding 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at a rally in Michigan.
Trump was repeating the campaign's oft-deployed talking point that Biden's candidacy is really a plot to get his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), installed as President.
Trump suggested that Biden would be "shot" within three weeks of taking office, setting the stage for Harris, whom Trump falsely claims is the most liberal person in the United States Senate.
"Three weeks in, Joe is shot, let's go Kamala, are you ready?" pic.twitter.com/qgMVQ3ekI1
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) October 27, 2020
"That's why they're talking about the 25th amendment, right? Three weeks. Three weeks in, Joe's shot, 'Let's go Kamala, are you get ready?' Most liberal person in the Senate."
Some thought Trump was floating the idea that Biden would be assassinated.
Donald Trump waxing poetic about Joe Biden's murder if he's elected: “Three weeks and Joe's shot. Let's go Kamala."
Police wouldn't tolerate this kind of threat from a citizen. They shouldn't tolerate it from the President.
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) October 27, 2020
More Trump signaling.
"Three weeks and he (Biden) get shot..."
He's never been held accountable for the words that escape his mouth.
Let's hold him accountable. For this, and so much more. https://t.co/9GYjJR3N9H
— Frances_Larina (@Frances_Larina) October 27, 2020
Which of the Republicans will speak out against this utterly dangerous incitement? Or do they think it's fine for Trump to raise the idea of assassinating political opponents? https://t.co/bjA1Ktdlzt
— Steven Beschloss (@StevenBeschloss) October 28, 2020
Just to refresh. Trump has talked consistently about not accepting electoral defeat, has spent his years in politics fantasizing about enacting violence on his critics and rivals, and is now just casually mention assassinations.
Let's be clear. He's a fascist. Period. https://t.co/6SiXqiJiWv
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) October 28, 2020
In this video Trump talks about Biden being shot 3 weeks in. I do not know what to say. This is beyond belief. https://t.co/pNFYmkGKBS
— charlie (@TheOldOlaf) October 27, 2020
Others argued that the President meant "shot" as in "tired" or "not up to the job," while conceding that the word choice was irresponsible at best.
It doesn't matter if “shot" has two meanings. He knows that at least some of his people will hear the dangerous one. Stochastic terrorism is all he has left.
— Matthew C. Billips (@Matt_Billips) October 27, 2020
I loathe this man, but I think he's using “shot" as slang for “worn out." Like “my brakes are shot." He's been rambling about this for some time.
— Gail Helt (@ghelt) October 27, 2020
As awful as Trump is, he's not talking gun violence here. His reference to 25th Amendment and "three weeks and Joe's shot" suggests Biden is too mentally addled to serve. After inauguration, Dems usher him out and install Kamala. It's bonkers, but not covert assassination joke. https://t.co/dPcV4Gs9tO
— RobGoblin (@RobGeorge) October 27, 2020
I've read defenses stating that by “shot", Trump meant that Biden's energy would be spent in the first 3 weeks as POTUS. Still a poor choice of a word to use.
— Surreal Norm (@NormanAmerican) October 27, 2020
The election deciding whether or not Trump will be a one-term President is on November 3, but early voting is underway in at least 40 states.