Paul Ryan: Donald Trump's comments are "a joke gone bad"

House Speaker Paul Ryan offered up a mild rebuke of Donald Trump Tuesday night, following the growing controversy around the Republican presidential nominee and his suggestion that "Second Amendment people" could do something about Hillary Clinton.

"I've been a little busy," Ryan said at a news conference in Wisconsin following his GOP primary win. He said that while he had yet to see Trump's remarks for himself, he had heard about them.

"It sounds like a joke gone bad," Ryan noted. "You should never joke about that. I hope he clears it up quickly."

Ryan was referring to Trump's comments at a North Carolina rally Tuesday, where he seemed to ask whether gun rights activists could stop the Democratic nominee, who he said would get rid of the Second Amendment by appointing liberal justices.

"Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment," Trump said. "By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know. But I'll tell you what, that will be a horrible day."

Many -- included the Clinton campaign -- interpreted the statements as a call to violence against the former secretary of state.

But Trump attempted to clarify his remarks later that evening, saying on Twitter that he had only meant to encourage political action.


And in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, he said "there can be no other interpretation."

"I mean, give me a break," Trump said, denouncing the "dishonest" media for perpetuating the more violent explanation. "What it is, is there's a tremendous power behind the Second Amendment. It's a political power, and it -- there are few things so powerful, I have to say, in terms of politics."