NEWTOWN, Conn. (CNN) — Donald Trump’s comments regarding the Second Amendment and Hillary Clinton struck Erica Smegielski — the daughter of Sandy Hook’s slain principal — as “distasteful” and “not presidential,” she said Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Republican presidential nominee told a crowd in North Carolina that that Second Amendment defenders might be able to stop Clinton from appointing justices to the Supreme Court who could weaken gun rights.
“Hillary wants to abolish — essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, 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,” Trump said.
“It’s distasteful, it’s disgusting and it is … not presidential of him,” Smegielski told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on “CNN Newsroom.”
Trump said Tuesday evening that he was simply trying to unify gun owners against Clinton in the voting booth.
“This is a political movement. This is a strong political movement, the Second Amendment,” Trump said to Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “And there can be no other interpretation … I mean, give me a break.”
Smegielski is the daughter of late Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung, and an outspoken gun control advocate. Trump’s ambiguous remarks that some interpreted as an allusion to violence prompted an enraged response from her via Twitter.
“You think gun violence is a joke? Would love to tell you about Mom’s life and gruesome MURDER,” she said.
Smegielski was a featured speaker during July’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, offering support for Clinton, and advocating for gun safety.
Nearly four years since her mother was one of 27 people killed as part of the United States’ deadliest school shooting, Smegielski said the woman who died trying to save her student’s lives would be appalled by the discourse.
“She, like many other Americans and other folks around the world, would be mortified that we actually have a Republican nominee … of such bad taste and character like Donald Trump,” she said.
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