Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens at left as Al Baldasaro, a New Hampshire state representative, speaks during a news conference in New York, May 31, 2016.
Photo by Richard Drew/AP

Secret Service takes an interest in Trump adviser’s rhetoric

On Tuesday, Al Baldasaro, a New Hampshire Republican who advises Donald Trump on veterans’ issues, called for Hillary Clinton to be “put in the firing line and shot for treason.” Baldasaro, who is also a Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention, went on to describe the Democratic candidate as “a piece of garbage.”
Offered a chance to walk back the comments, Baldasaro refused, saying, “I stand by what I said…. Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing.”
As we discussed yesterday, however, the First Amendment does not give people the right to encourage violence against American political leaders. It’s probably why Baldasaro’s case has caught the attention of the Secret Service.
The Secret Service said Wednesday that they are looking into New Hampshire State Senator Al Baldasaro after he called for Hillary Clinton’s execution for “treason.”
Baldasaro is an adviser to the Trump campaign for veteran’s issues and has appeared at Trump campaign events…. “The U.S. Secret Service is aware of this matter and will conduct the appropriate investigation,” Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback told NBC News in a statement Wednesday.
As for the campaign’s response, TPM reported that Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks said, “We’re incredibly grateful for his support, but we don’t agree with his comments.”
Wait, what?
One of Trump’s advisers and delegates – a man Trump himself described as his “favorite vet” – called for Hillary Clinton to be shot, and the campaign said it’s “incredibly grateful for his support”?
And while I’m delighted to know Team Trump doesn’t “agree with” Baldasaro’s comments, that’s not much of a condemnation. Indeed, it’s worth noting that Baldasaro was on the convention floor last night, as if he hadn’t just called for Clinton’s execution.
Perhaps the Secret Service will take this more seriously than the Trump campaign.