By Alana Wise
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine on Sunday accused Donald Trump of inciting violence against Hillary Clinton after the Republican candidate said Clinton's security detail should be disarmed given her support for tighter gun rules.
Kaine, speaking on Fox News Sunday, called Trump's remarks irresponsible.
"When you look at a series of these comments that he's making, I do believe it is an incite or at a minimum an expression of indifference to whether violence would occur," he said.
On Friday, Trump said at a campaign rally that Clinton's "bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm."
"Take their guns away, she doesn't want guns. Take them, let's see what happens to her. Take their guns away, okay. It will be very dangerous," he added.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a top adviser to Trump, told Fox News Sunday that Trump's comments had been misinterpreted and demanded that Kaine apologize to Trump for suggesting he had a malicious intent.
"Senator Kaine should be ashamed of himself for saying that Donald Trump would like to have violence perpetrated against Hillary Clinton but it just shows how desperate and scared the Clinton-Kaine campaign is now because this race now is a dead heat and they can't believe it," Christie said.
Trump's vice presidential running mate, Mike Pence, called any interpretation of Trump's Friday remarks as a call to violence "absolute nonsense."
"His comment was that if she didn't have all that security, she'd change her attitude about the right to keep and bear arms. And I'll bet that's probably true,” Pence said on ABC's "This Week.
Trump was criticized by opponents last month when he suggested that gun rights activists could act to stop Clinton from nominating liberal U.S. Supreme Court justices, a comment some interpreted as encouraging a political assassination.
"If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks," Trump told a rally in North Carolina on Aug. 9. "Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know," he said.
In that case, Trump's campaign also insisted that his comments were not intended to incite violence.
(Reporting by Alana Wise, Rick Cowan and Dustin Volz; Editing by Caren Bohan and James Dalgleish)