Donald Trump's most loyal supporters are placing their own spin on the billionaire's recent warning that riots could occur if a contested convention enables someone other than himself to emerge as the GOP presidential nominee.
Trump on Wednesday predicted "there will be riots" across the country if he is sidelined at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland five months from now.
"I think we'll win before getting to the convention," Trump told CNN's Chris Cuomo. "But I can tell you if we didn't, if we're 20 votes short or if we're 100 short and we're at 1,100 and somebody else is at 500 or 400… I don't think you can say that we don't get it automatically. I think you'd have riots."
The remark has drawn the ire of Democrats and Republicans alike who believe the brash New York billionaire is deliberately inciting violence.
Meanwhile, Trump's most outspoken supporters and campaign aides have adopted strange talking points to spin his comments away from the negativity they're attracting.
"Riots aren't necessarily a bad thing," Tea Party activist and Trump fan Scottie Nell Hughes told CNN hours after Trump first mentioned the possibility of riots.
Hughes didn't back down when CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, visibly dismayed, asked if she wants Trump's supporters to riot should he be denied the GOP nomination.
"It's not riot as in a negative thing we've seen in the past," she said. "I know they would not resort to violence, however they would make sure their voices are heard, that they can't be ignored."
A day later, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh attempted to blame the media for taking Trump's comments out of context and hungering for violent protests at the 2016 RNC.
"All Trump did was suggest that there would be riots. He didn't call for them," he told his listeners.
"But all he had to do was predict that there might be and here comes everybody claiming that he's calling for them, that he's warning that there will be, like he's trying to scare people into signing up with him or else," Limbaugh said, adding that reporters "are craving riots because of the media attention they would draw. That's the hypocrisy."
On Friday, Trump's senior campaign advisor Sam Clovis attempted to downplay the act of rioting altogether when he was pressed on his boss' comments by CNN's Alisyn Camerota.
"I don't think he said violence, he said riots…" Clovis told Camerota.
"Riots are violence, by definition," she responded.
"I don't accept that," he shot back.
It was an interesting declaration considering the violent unrest that engulfed Baltimore just last spring when riots broke out over the death of 25-year-old Baltimore resident Freddie Gray. Or the punches that have already been thrown at Trump rallies in the absence of full-blown rioting.
Even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who endorsed Trump after ending his own White House bid, has come to the billionaire's defense. On Friday, Christie attempted to clarify what kind of riots Trump was referring to.
"I don't think he meant literal riots. I think he meant political riots, and I think that is what would happen,'' Christie said during a press conference Friday.
"It would be great upset and tumult at that convention if someone comes in very close to the majority and by far and away the most delegates and is denied the nomination,'' he added. "The party are the people who belong to the party and vote in the primary. It's not the people in Washington, D.C., and on K Street and on Capitol Hill in those offices.''
Still, others claims Trump's mere suggestion that his supporters might riot if he is denied the nomination was enough to put the idea in their minds.
"Nobody should say such things in my opinion because to even address or hint to violence is unacceptable," House Speaker Paul Ryan, who will preside over the forthcoming convention, told reporters Thursday on Capitol Hill.