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Why Does This Crucial Line of Trump’s Second Amendment Flap Keep Getting Edited Out?

By now we’ve all heard the sound bite ad nauseam. Speaking to a crowd yesterday in Wilmington, NC, Republican nominee Donald Trump said the following:

By the way, and if she gets to pick –if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.

People everywhere freaked out over the comment; Trump’s camp (and the NRA) immediately went on the defensive, offering clarifications, while Hillary Clinton‘s people decried it within moments as the latest invocation of violence from an unstable candidate. Pundits and prognosticators got their biggest storyline for the week, and as of this writing, all main three networks have covered the story in the last several minutes.

But there’s a curious edit that was often made by the networks when the moment in question was replayed over and over again — it stops after the words, “I don’t know.” Here’s CNN Jake Tapper on The Lead Tuesday afternoon introducing the clip in question…

…cutting it short at that moment; and even on MSNBC’s Hardball, Chris Matthews began his roundtable by playing the immediately-infamous clip, opting to edit it there as well:

But the full quote from Trump — which I will present below in both text and video form — was edited short for some reason by the networks during playback, and gives a pretty revealing take on his intention. Namely, the phrase, “But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day,” is in direct reference to what many have assumed… that he made a joke about someone shooting Hillary Clinton. And when that act of violence happens, “…that will be a horrible day.”

In full context:

“So here, I just wrote this down today. Hillary wants to raise taxes — it’s a comparison. I want to lower them. Hillary wants to expand regulations, which she does bigly. Can you believe that? I will reduce them very, very substantially, could be as much as 70 to 75 percent. Hillary wants to shut down energy production. I want to expand it. Lower electric bills, folks! Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick — if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day, if — if — Hillary gets to put her judges in.”

And here is the video of the full comment, which reveals how his vocal inflection changes with this sputtering “ifs” (skip ahead to the :45 second mark). The first “if” indicates he’s about to change the subject completely; then it would seem that in the movement he realizes what he’s just said, and abruptly steers the ship back to clarify and conclude, “… if Hillary gets to put her judges on.”

The unedited video is below via C-SPAN:

Trump has argued that it’s all a call for simple political action; that people who are passionate about the second amendment and the basic liberties outlined by the Bill of Rights will take to the voting booth in November and elect the candidate they want the most. But in any case, it’s worth it to read — and watch — the full comments, something that the network’s have often not been doing in the hours since this debacle unfolded, to allow people to make up their minds for themselves. As PolitiFact opined, “Trump’s rather elliptical words certainly left room for interpretation.”

So after watching with full context… what do you think?


J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) is an editorial producer and columnist at Mediaite.
[images via screengrab]

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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