Donald Trump continues to campaign in Florida on Wednesday, as Hillary Clinton hosts two rallies in Colorado and Nevada.
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A fiery and free-wheeling Donald Trump regaled supporters Wednesday with allegations of near-ubiquitous backroom deals and secret schemes all meant to undermine his presidential bid.
In a pair of rallies in Ocala and Lakeland, both in central Florida, Trump ticked off a litany of forces conspiring against him, including congressional Republicans, the media and even the panel that oversees the presidential debates.
"Ai yai yai, what a rigged deal this is," Trump said of the Commission on Presidential Debates, of which a former official in Bill Clinton's administration is a co-chairman, along with a former GOP party chair.
But the sentiment could have applied to myriad riffs as Trump energetically meandered through his speeches.
The failure of Congress to push for tougher consequences for Hillary Clinton's private email server after the Department of Justice declined to press charges?
Perhaps, Trump mused, politicians "make a deal where everybody protects each other in Washington? I really believe it."
House Speaker Paul Ryan's decision to no longer campaign with Trump?
"There’s a whole sinister deal going on," Trump suggested.
And Trump relished in lacerating the media, which he accused of propping up Clinton's campaign and suppressing news of the hacked emails of her campaign chairman that were released by WikiLeaks over recent days.
"Honestly, without the press, without the media, Hillary Clinton is nothing," Trump said. "She's nothing."
The revelations in the leaked emails have become central to Trump's narrative of a rigged system. He told supporters Clinton's position supporting "open trade and open borders" — according to speech transcripts released in the hack —underscored how Clinton was misrepresenting her positions to the public.
More ominously, he warned, Clinton's globalized outlook threatened the sovereignty of the U.S.
The dire warnings notwithstanding, Trump appeared peppy and energized by the throngs of supporters, who loudly cheered his signature crowd-pleasers such as his vow to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall and his emphatic pledge to "keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country."
The latter was a favorite line of Wyatt Griner, 18, and his friend Dawson Steele, 19, both from Gainesville.
The two friends were popular in their own right after the Ocala rally, holding black and white signs reading "Don't be a pussy — vote for Trump" signs alongside traffic, a vulgar reference to Trump's graphic comments from 2005 that emerged last week. Cars honked and cheered.
Steele said the negative coverage of Trump's remarks, in which he talked of using his celebrity to sexually assault women, were overblown.
"That's what guys say," he said. "You look at the actions of Bill Clinton — it doesn't even compare," he added, referring to allegations of sexual assault or misconduct against the former president.
The recent high school graduates said they were confident that Trump would win, but they too saw forces working against their preferred candidate.
"It's going to be Trump in a landslide," Steele said, but immediately warned: "There's going to be voter fraud going on."