Dan Rather rips Donald Trump for 'direct threat of violence' against Hillary Clinton

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Dan Rather Criticizes Trump's Second Amendment Comment, Warns 'History Is Watching'

Iconic newscaster Dan Rather thinks Donald Trump's comment that "Second Amendment people" can stop Hillary Clinton crossed a line with "dangerous potential."

"By any objective analysis, this is a new low and unprecedented in the history of American presidential politics," Rather wrote in a lengthy Facebook post. "This is no longer about policy, civility, decency or even temperament. This is a direct threat of violence against a political rival. It is not just against the norms of American politics, it raises a serious question of whether it is against the law."

Rather pondered: "If any other citizen had said this about a presidential candidate, would the Secret Service be investigating?"

"The Secret Service is aware of the comments made earlier this afternoon," the top law enforcement agency tweeted on Tuesday following Trump's remarks, so the answer to Rather's question is obviously, yes.

"To anyone who still pretends this is a normal election of Republican against Democrat, history is watching. And I suspect its verdict will be harsh," Rather continued. "Many have tried to do a side-shuffle and issue statements saying they strongly disagree with his rhetoric but still support the candidate. That is becoming woefully insufficient. The rhetoric is the candidate. This cannot be treated as just another outrageous moment in the campaign."

On Tuesday, Trump shocked many media commentators when he seemed to suggest that people with guns should do something about Clinton and judges she would choose for the Supreme Court. "If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks," Trump said. "Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don't know."

His campaign quickly issued a statement: "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."

Rather disapproving of Trump isn't new.

"What he said about Muslims, the effect of that is a great advantage for ISIS," Rather told TheWrap last year. "This is the greatest propaganda coup for ISIS in recent times," he continued, adding that the terror group can radicalize prospective followers by pointing out that a leading U.S. presidential candidate is anti-Muslim.

RELATED: 8 Simple Campaign Rules Donald Trump Broke This Week

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8 Simple Campaign Rules Donald Trump Broke This Week (TheWrap)
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8 Simple Campaign Rules Donald Trump Broke This Week (TheWrap)
Breaking the normal rules of campaigning helped Donald Trump win the Republican nomination. But since the general election kicked off last week, Trump's rule-breaking has only hurt him. Here are 8 simple campaign rules he has broken, and links to how he broke them.

1. Kiss babies

And whatever you do, don't demand that they be ejected from your speeches.

2. Keep your wife's nude photos out of the press

This one seems like one of those rules you shouldn't even have to say.

3. Don't fight with the parents of a dead war hero

But if you do, don't double down. Or triple down. Too late? Uh-oh.

4. If you're going to let your spokeswoman accuse the current president of getting a soldier killed, get the dates right.

5. Don't suggest women who are sexually harassed should find other jobs.

Come on, man. What if it were your daughter? Wait -- you were talking about your daughter? Ivanka Trump, please talk to your dad.

6. Don't insult swing states.

Don't, for example, say the capitol of a crucial swing state looks like a "war zone." (Especially if you've never been to a war zone yourself.)

7. Don't speak ill of other people in your party

Ronald Reagan used to call this the 11th commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican," because the last thing you want is people in your party turning on you. Oops, too late. 

8. Don't eat fried chicken with a knife and fork

But you might want to think about eating crow.

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