In July, Al Baldasaro, a Republican state representative in New Hampshire, said Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”
And now Donald Trump says he is unfamiliar with the remarks.
“I didn’t know that but I will tell you he’s a very fine person,” Trump told a New Hampshire TV station on Thursday. “He is a person that loves the military and loves the veterans.”
Baldasaro is an advisor to the Trump campaign who has spoken at Trump events, and he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention. His widely-reported call for Clinton’s execution prompted an investigation by the Secret Service, not to mention lots of condemnation.
And Trump didn’t know that? The reporter asked again if Trump condoned Baldasaro’s call for Clinton’s execution.
“I don’t know what he said,” Trump insisted. “You’d have to show me what he said.”
Of course, Trump loves to be vague, or say he’s not saying something the same instant he’s saying it, or even say he doesn’t know something that he clearly knows. Like when he said he didn’t know who David Duke is, or he didn’t know he’d mocked someone with a disability. Like when he himself suggested that maybe somebody could shoot Clinton if she becomes president.
“If she gets to pick her judges ― nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said at a rally earlier this month in North Carolina. “Although, the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.”
Baldaraso, for his part, told BuzzFeed Friday that he regrets saying Hillary Clinton should be killed “the way I did.” And he put out a statement on Twitter Friday morning criticizing Clinton for her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack on an American compound in Benghazi, Libya, and for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
“The FBI didn’t hold her accountable. The Justice Department won’t prosecute her. Despite her crimes she will not be tried in a court of law,” Baldasaro said. “But she CAN be tried in the court of public opinion! Hillary Clinton is NOT above the law. Her actions were treasonous.”
Arthur Delaney is a co-host of “So That Happened,” the HuffPost Politics podcast:
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.