Secret Service agents reportedly had more than one conversation with Donald Trump's campaign following the GOP nominee ambiguously suggesting Tuesday that there may be something "Second Amendment people" can do if Hillary Clinton wins the White House and appoints pro-gun control judges.
"US Secret [Service] has spoken to Trump campaign re: 2nd Amendment comments, 'more than one conversation,'" CNN's Jim Sciutto reported on social media, citing an anonymous Secret Service source.
CNN confirmed the news later that afternoon in an on-air report.
Breaking: US Secret Svce has spoken to #Trump campaign re: 2nd Amendment comments, "more than one conversation” -USSS official tells me— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) August 10, 2016
However, Trump soon disputed the story, and claimed on Twitter that there had been no talks with the Secret Service.
No such meeting or conversation ever happened - a made up story by "low ratings" @CNN.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2016
Reuters appeared to back up Trump's claim Wednesday afternoon, and reported that no formal meeting between the two camps had taken place.
"Secret Service never formally spoke to Trump camp about gun rights comment," Reuters reported, citing an anonymous government official.
The conflicting reports come after Trump warned supporters at a campaign rally in North Carolina Tuesday that, if elected president, Clinton would appoint anti-Second Amendment judges.
"Hillary essentially wants to abolish the Second Amendment," Trump told supporters. "By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks.
"Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is," he said, adding, "I don't know."
Clinton's team responded immediately to Trump's remarks, and accused the GOP nominee of engaging in "dangerous" rhetoric.
"This is simple — what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to‎ be the President of the United States should not suggest violence in any way," Hillary for America Campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement.
Trump's comments were also condemned by newsrooms, as reporters and pundits alike took his remarks to be a thinly veiled threat against the Democratic presidential nominee.
"If anybody else had said this, they'd be out in the parking lot in a police wagon being questioned by the Secret Service," former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden said in a CNN interview shortly after Trump's rally had concluded.
However, not everyone saw Trump's off-script quip as an insidious call to action.
"I've been very critical of Donald Trump, but I actually don't think that's what he was saying," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who announced Monday she would not vote for Trump in the fall, said in an interview.
"I think that he was suggesting that the Second Amendment advocates across the country might be able to come together to pressure the Senate to reject her nominees, should she become president, that's how I interpreted it. But it is an example of Donald Trump's looseness with language that can lead to interpretations that, such as the one put out by Secretary Clinton's camp," she added.
The Daily Mail's Dave Martosko, who was in the arena Tuesday afternoon when Trump spoke, also said there was nothing "dangerous" about what the Republican candidate said.
"Here we go: Trump line about 2nd Amendment advocates 'doing something' about Clinton's agenda will be misinterpreted as threat of violence," he tweeted.
"Comment came in context of talking about Supreme Court decisions. Clearly he meant legal maneuvering based on the Constitution," he added.
The Trump campaign responded to the furor over his remarks by clarifying he meant pro-Second Amendment activists could band together to ensure Clinton loses in November.
"It's called the power of unification — 2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won't be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump," the Republican candidate's communications adviser, Jason Miller, said in a statement.
The Secret Service is aware of the comments made earlier this afternoon.— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) August 9, 2016
The Secret Service made it known Tuesday that it was aware of Trump's remarks, and said in a quick note on social media, "The Secret Service is aware of the comments made earlier this afternoon."
This post has been updated.