Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump denied on Wednesday that his campaign had spoken to or met with the Secret Service about his suggestion that “Second Amendment people” could do something about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The allusion to violence at Trump’s rally on Tuesday ― which some defenders said was a joke and others said was misconstrued ― quickly led to requests by members of Congress that the Secret Service look into it. The Secret Service offers protection to both Trump and Clinton.
The Secret Service has been tight-lipped on the matter publicly, tweeting that it was “aware of the comments.”
But a Secret Service official told CNN on Wednesday that “there has been more than one conversation” between the law enforcement agency and the Trump campaign, according to the network. The official also said the Trump campaign told them he did not mean to incite violence, CNN reported.
Not so, Trump tweeted.
The Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reuters, citing an unnamed federal official, reported later Wednesday that “there had been no formal conversations with the campaign regarding the comment made to supporters the day before.”
The Trump campaign has offered multiple defenses of his comments, but mostly argued that he was not referring to violence at all, and instead urging pro-gun rights advocates to vote (a matter complicated by the fact that he was talking about after the election rather than before it).
Trump said Tuesday that the entire controversy was a good thing for him.
“I have to say, in terms of politics, there is few things, and I happen to think that if [the media] did even bring this up, I think it’s a good thing for me,” he told Sean Hannity. “Because it’s going to tell people more about me with respect to the Second Amendment ... because Hillary Clinton wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment.”
This article has been updated to include the Reuters report that there had been no formal conversations with Trump’s campaign.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist