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Leaked audio about bull's-eye on Hillary Clinton mires Burr campaign in controversy

The incumbent senator made comments to a group of GOP volunteers in Mooresville that were revealed in the audio recording. He told them he felt satisfied walking into a gun shop and seeing Hillary Clinton on the front cover of a magazine about rifles.

“I was a little shocked at that — it didn’t have a bull’s-eye on it,” Burr said in the recording. “But on the bottom right (of the magazine), it had everybody for federal office in this particular state that they should vote for. So let me assure you, there’s an army of support out there right now for our candidates.”

Kimberly Reynolds, executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party, said Burr promoted violence in his comments.

“It has now been more than 24 hours since news of Senator Burr’s divisive comments first broke, and the silence from North Carolina Republicans speaks volumes,” she said. “ ... Burr has crossed the line. North Carolina workers and families, and our children, should know from every public official, regardless of party, that our state is better than this.”

Burr apologized for his remarks in a statement he issued to CNN on Monday.

“The comment I made was inappropriate, and I apologize for it,” he said in the statement.

The same day that Burr’s comments were leaked, the N&O revealed the Burr campaign had sent an email to the news organization, explaining its decision to ban the paper from receiving scheduling updates about the senator’s campaign efforts.

The N&O reported the Burr campaign cited the newspaper’s supposed biased coverage in its decision to blacklist the publication.

“(Burr’s campaign) put an embargo on sending you scheduling details until you demonstrate the ability to cover this race from a balanced point of view,” Jesse Hunt, spokesperson for the Burr campaign, said in an email to the N&O.

Jordan Schrader, the state government and politics editor at the N&O, said he’s never seen a ban like this in his time at the newspaper.

“There have been candidates who declined to talk to us or a particular reporter,” he said. “But I haven’t heard of anybody saying they weren’t going to send us their announcements.”

Schrader said the ban won’t affect the N&O’s coverage of the senatorial race.

“We do our best to tell our readers about the candidates and the issues that are relevant,” he said. “We’re not doing that with any agenda.”


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