Obama makes his case for Clinton: She always kept me on my game


President Obama hits the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton fresh off the FBI’s decision that it won’t prosecute Clinton for her private e-mail server.

  • President Obama says he’s “ready to pass the baton” to Clinton
  • The FBI says no charges will be recommended over Clinton’s email use but admonishes her and aides as “extremely careless” with classified information
  • Donald Trump bashes FBI for not recommending Clinton be charged, says voters will be “the final jury”
  • Why the FBI concluded Clinton’s actions didn’t rise to the level of criminal behavior

Trump says Clinton endangered U.S. by exposing national secrets in email

(Rich Schultz / Associated Press)

Donald Trump accused Hillary Clinton on Tuesday of endangering the United States with what the FBI has concluded was her “extremely careless” handling of classified information on a private email server when she was secretary of State.

Campaigning in North Carolina, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said his Democratic counterpart had exercised “horrible” judgment by using private servers at the Clinton family house in Chappaqua, N.Y., for email about national security matters.

“Hillary Clinton put the entire country in danger,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Raleigh, echoing FBI Director James Comey’s assertion earlier Tuesday that Clinton and her aides at the State Dept. had left top secret information vulnerable to hacking.

Trump said Clinton had lied when she said she never sent classified information through a private server. He also suggested, without offering evidence, that Clinton had tried to bribe Loretta Lynch by offering to keep her in the job of U.S. attorney general should she decline to prosecute.

Trump’s remarks were part of a scathing attack on Clinton in which he also suggested she had traded State Department favors for donations to the Clinton family foundation.

“This is one of the most crooked politicians in history,” Trump said.

Trump’s event came just a few hours after Clinton visited North Carolina with President Obama in their first joint campaign appearance. Trump’s attacks underscored the serious damage that the email scandal has caused for Clinton and foreshadowed what will likely be four months of relentless pounding on the issue.

Trump said it was amazing that Clinton was guilty of wrongdoing with her email, but will face no criminal charges if the Justice Department accepts the FBI recommendation that she not be prosecuted.

“We have a rigged system, folks,” Trump told the crowd, borrowing a phrase often used by Clinton’s Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders.


Donald Trump: ‘Hillary Clinton put the entire country in danger’

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Why the FBI concluded Hillary Clinton’s email practices did not rise to the level of criminal charges

Federal law makes it a crime for a trusted U.S. official to “knowingly and willfully” disclose or transmit secret information to an “unauthorized person.” A second law makes it a crime to “remove” secret documents kept by the government or to allow them to be stolen through “gross negligence.”

Neither law applies clearly or directly to what FBI Director James B. Comey described Tuesday as Hillary Clinton’s “extremely careless” handling of classified emails that were sent through her private system when she was the secretary of State.

“It’s just not a crime under current law to do nothing more than share sensitive information over unsecured networks,” said Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas. “Maybe it should be, but that’s something for Congress to decide going forward.”

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As rally begins in North Carolina, Trump has little to say about Clinton’s emails


Obama shows why he’s an asset for Clinton on the campaign trail by making a forceful argument for her

(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

President Obama infused new energy into Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House as he joined her on the stump for first time Tuesday, making a forceful case for her candidacy after the two arrived together in Charlotte, N.C., on Air Force One.

The address offered a glimpse of Obama’s role in the Clinton campaign, and it is likely to be a potent one. The president, a natural campaigner, captivated the crowd in a state that is a must-win for Donald Trump, speaking admirably of Clinton’s experience and judgment while laying out the policy gains made under his administration that are at risk if Democrats lose the White House.

The event came at a welcome time for Clinton, who is scrambling to contain the damage from some of the harsh assessments the FBI made about her emailing practices while she was secretary of State. Although the FBI ultimately advised against indicting Clinton, Director James B. Comey described the private server Clinton set up in her house as reckless.

Neither Obama nor Clinton mentioned the FBI findings, announced just hours before they took the stage in front of a large crowd at the Charlotte Convention Center. But Obama spoke at length about Clinton’s character and why he believes she is the most qualified nominee Democrats have ever had.

“Sometimes we act as if never having done something and not knowing what you are doing is a virtue,” Obama said, joking about how he benefited from the voter excitement a fresh face can generate when he first ran. “That means sometimes Hillary doesn’t get the credit she deserves. The fact is, Hillary is steady. And Hillary is true. And she is in politics for the same reasons I am, because we can improve people’s lives through this work.”

Obama’s easiness on the stump Tuesday was a notable contrast to Clinton, who stuck to her standard campaign talking points when she spoke. The president peppered his remarks with crowd pleasing one-liners about North Carolina food and its basketball and, of course, mockery of Donald Trump.

“We were in a hole when I came into office, but right now the world, the rest of the world thinks we are pretty great,” Obama said. “And you can look that up. That’s a fact. It is not something I just made up and tweeted.”

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Donald Trump blames a ‘rigged system’ for FBI’s recommendation not to charge Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump pounced on Hillary Clinton’s FBI troubles Tuesday, branding Clinton a liar while arguing that the FBI’s recommendation not to charge her was evidence of special treatment.

“Because of our rigged system that holds the American people to one standard and people like Hillary Clinton to another, it does not look like she will be facing the criminal charges that she deserves,” Trump wrote in a lengthy statement.

“The final jury will be the American people, and they will issue the verdict on her corruption, incompetence, and bad judgment on November 8th,” election day, he warned.

Trump did not stop at the damning facts laid out by FBI director James Comey. He added to them, seizing on Comey’s statement that Clinton’s private email system was vulnerable to hackers.

“Our adversaries almost certainly have a blackmail file on Hillary Clinton, and this fact alone disqualifies her from service,” Trump wrote.

He connected Comey’s recommendation not to prosecute with Bill Clinton’s unplanned meeting last week with Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch at the Phoenix airport and called out Hillary Clinton’s interview by the FBI over the holiday weekend as favorable treatment.

“It was no accident that charges were not recommended against Hillary the exact same day as President Obama campaigns with her for the first time,” Trump wrote. Comey said no one knew he planned to announce his findings Tuesday.

Trump also zeroed in on news that Clinton sent more than 100 emails deemed classified — despite her prior claim that she did not send information deemed classified at the time — and that her lawyers tried to dispose of 30,000 emails, “hiding her corrupt dealings from investigators.”

He suggested that the lost emails would have shown “the details about her botched decisions in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Egypt that destabilized the Middle East.”

The emails were destroyed by Clinton’s attorneys, who deemed them personal. Comey said some emails were recovered through various means and that some were in fact related to Clinton’s work.

Comey said there was “no evidence that any of the additional work-related emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them,” though he did scold Clinton and her aides as being “extremely careless” in their treatment of classified information.


Trump plans fundraiser in Bel-Air

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s fundraising trip to Southern California next week includes a dinner in Bel-Air, where donors are being asked to contribute up to $449,400 per person.

The reception and dinner will take place at a private home on July 14, just days before the start of the Republican National Convention, according to an invitation obtained by The Times. The least expensive ticket, which gets a donor into the reception but no picture or dinner, costs $2,700 per person.

Trump has sharply increased his fundraising schedule in the aftermath of campaign finance reports that showed he lags far behind presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump ended May with $1.3 million on hand, compared with Clinton’s $42 million.

Last week, Trump held fundraisers in Boston and Denver. He is scheduled to hold one in Cincinnati on Wednesday, and another in Rancho Santa Fe the day before the Bel-Air event.

The hosts of the Bel-Air reception include billionaire real estate investor Tom Barrack, who held Trump’s first major fundraiser in May; former Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Jamie McCourt; fast-food honcho Andy Puzder, and Galpin Motors owner Bert Boeckmann. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is also listed on the invitation though it is unclear if he is attending.

The contributions are to be split among Trump’s campaign, the RNC and several state Republican parties.


President Obama in North Carolina: ‘I believe in Hillary Clinton’

I always had to be on my game because she knew every fact, and she knew every detail.

— President Obama on Hillary Clinton

She was the Energizer bunny. She just kept on.”

— President Obama on Hillary Clinton in North Carolina

“She’s been fighting those fights, and she’s got the scars to prove it.”

— President Obama on Hillary Clinton

This is a choice between whether we are going to cling to some imaginary past or whether we’re going to reach for the future.

— President Obama in North Carolina

If you’re voting for the other team, it’s not because of the economy.

— President Obama in North Carolina

I know the other guy talks about making America great again. America’s really great.

— Barack Obama on Donald Trump

I agree with Hillary that our democracy works best when there are basic bonds of trust between us.

— Barack Obama on Hillary Clinton in North Carolina

Unless you’re a Native American, somebody brought you here.

— President Obama on immigration

I’m ready to pass the baton, and I know that Hillary Clinton is going to take it, and I know she can run that race.

— President Obama in North Carolina


President Obama throws support behind Hillary Clinton in North Carolina

Donald, if you’re out there tweeting, it’s Hawaii.

— Hillary Clinton in North Carolina on President Obama’s birthplace

I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves for saving our economy.

— Hillary Clinton on President Obama in North Carolina

We’re going to keep asking to see Donald Trump’s tax returns.

— Hillary Clinton in North Carolina


White House stays mum on FBI decision not to recommend prosecution for Clinton

The White House sidestepped questions Tuesday about whether President Obama agrees with the FBI’s decision not to recommend prosecution for Hillary Clinton, citing the ongoing case as reason for the chief executive to stay out of it.

As Obama and Clinton flew to North Carolina together for their first 2016 campaign event together, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest pointed out that the Department of Justice hasn’t decided how to proceed on the FBI recommendations. With that decision yet to be made, Earnest said, the White House doesn’t want to weigh in.

“The president is aware of the news,” he said, adding that no one at the White House got a heads-up about the decision or even that the director would make his announcement Tuesday.

Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch said last week that she will accept any recommendations the FBI and top prosecutors made to her. She made the unusual decision amid questions about the propriety of a personal meeting she had with Clinton’s husband on an airport tarmac last week.

Obama has said all along that he doesn’t want to jeopardize the independence of the FBI and DOJ determinations by weighing in personally.

Though Obama likely will be asked again how he views the case, his team tried to keep the focus on his endorsement of Clinton.

Obama remains “enthusiastic about her candidacy,” Earnest said. “The president will deliver a forceful case about Secretary Clinton’s qualifications and values that she would bring to the job.”


Cleared but no clean bill of health: Email issue will linger for Hillary Clinton all the way until election day

For months, Hillary Clinton’s foes — Republican and Democrat alike — hung their hopes on the prospect she would be indicted for using an unsecured home server to handle her emails as secretary of State

The threat was cited by backers of Donald Trump as a response to his myriad and many stumbles; however poorly he performed or whatever discouraging news turned up in opinion surveys, they suggested, a criminally charged Clinton would be in even worse political shape come November.

A similar notion was cited by supporters of Bernie Sanders as the reason the Vermont senator should persist in his bid for the Democratic nomination, long after it was evident he would fall short.

Those hopes were dashed Tuesday.

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Paul Ryan suggests House Republicans are looking into Bill Clinton’s meeting with the attorney general

(Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said the FBI’s recommendation not to prosecute anyone over Hillary Clinton’s emails “defies explanation” — but he suggested House Republicans may pursue additional investigations into the matter.

Ryan specifically called it “absolutely inappropriate” that former President Clinton and Atty Gen. Loretta Lynch met privately last week in an unscheduled encounter at the Phoenix airport as the FBI’s work continued.

“We’re taking a look at this a little more deeply,” Ryan said Tuesday on a radio show in Wisconsin, his home state.

“It does taint the outcome,” he said. “To have the top law enforcement officer taint this in such a way to me was just inexcusable.”

It was House Republicans’ investigation into the Benghazi attack that led to the initial disclosure of Clinton’s private email set-up.

“This announcement defies explanation,” Ryan said in a statement after the FBI’s announcement Tuesday. “No one should be above the law.... Declining to prosecute Secretary Clinton for recklessly mishandling and transmitting national security information will set a terrible precedent.”

Said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), the No. 2 Republican:

“To me this is still very troubling, the judgment from the secretary.”

“There’s a lot of questions that are raised by all this,” he said.


Paul Ryan on Trump’s star tweet: ‘They’ve got to clean this thing up’

Republican leaders appeared unsettled Tuesday over Donald Trump’s latest problem tweet.

“They’ve got to clean this thing up,” said House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (D-Wis.) on a radio show Tuesday morning.

In a weekend Twitter attack on Hillary Clinton, Trump posted an illustration with anti-Semitic overtones that was immediately criticized.

“Anti-Semitic images — they’ve got no place in the presidential campaign,” Ryan said. “Candidates should know that.”

Trump is headed to Capitol Hill later this week to meet with House and Senate Republicans ahead of the party’s convention this month in Cleveland.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) said he hoped lawmakers would talk to the party’s presumed nominee about their policy agenda.

But McCarthy, who supports Trump, acknowledged his own limited comfort level with the candidate.

“I always look for constant improvement,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy, the No. 2 Republican in the House, also said he does not expect to personally play “any major role” or speak in Cleveland.

Trump’s campaign eventually deleted the tweet but did not apologize for it, instead blaming Clinton’s supporters for calling the star anti-Semitic rather than simply a symbol used by law enforcement.

Ryan said Republicans need to “get back to the issues that matter.”

But he also blamed Trump’s campaign staff for the tweet, which included the star on top of piles of cash.

“I don’t know which flunky put this up there. They’ve obviously got to fix that,” Ryan said.


GOP leaders mull whether to punish House Democrats over gun-violence sit-in

House Republican leaders are considering whether to reprimand House Democrats over the 25-hour anti-gun violence sit-in that shut down the chamber last week.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) have been highly critical of the Democratic protest and will be meeting with the sergeant at arms on Tuesday at the Capitol to discuss the issue.

“That is not the way the House should work,” McCarthy told reporters. “That behavior, and the breaking of the rules, I’ve never seen in my lifetime. ... To me, I don’t think that’s what democracy looks like to the rest of the world, I don’t think that’s what the United States Congress looks like. ... That type of behavior cannot be tolerated.”

As the House gaveled into session Tuesday after the long holiday recess, Democrats picked up where they left off, with lawmakers taking turns demanding a vote on legislation to limit access to guns.

It was unclear if Democrats would resume their sit-in, which was led by Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the civil rights leader, and essentially brought House business to a halt in the aftermath of the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Under pressure to respond to increasing support for gun-control measures, Republican leaders scheduled a vote on one bill this week. The measure, which is supported by the National Rifle Assn., helps prevent gun sales to terrorism suspects. But Democrats say it does not go far enough to stop gun sales, and it was already rejected in the Senate.

A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) called the GOP investigation more evidence of Republicans siding with the powerful gun lobby.

“The lengths the House Republican leadership will go to follow the NRA’s marching orders know no bounds,” said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.

McCarthy did not say whether Democrats would be punished or censured for the sit-in’s violation of House rules — namely, that lawmakers used social media to post video of the proceedings after the official video feed was shut off. Democrats were also criticized for sending out fundraising appeals from the protest.

“We expect members of Congress to adhere to the rules and the decorum of what is expected by being onto the floor,” he said.


Clinton campaign says email investigation is ‘resolved’


Donald Trump’s response to the FBI recommendation not to prosecute Clinton: The system is rigged


Read the FBI director’s full remarks on the Clinton email investigation

(Cliff Owen / Associated Press)

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FBI recommends no prosecution in Hillary Clinton email case

The FBI is recommending that no charges be brought against Hillary Clinton in connection with her email use while secretary of State, FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday.

“No reasonable prosecutor” would bring such a case, Comey said. But although the FBI is not recommending charges, the FBI director did strongly criticize Clinton’s handling of classified information in her email, calling is “extremely careless.”

The announcement comes three days after FBI agents and Justice Department officials interviewed Clinton at FBI headquarters – a step that had long been forecast as the final move in the investigation.

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FBI director calls Clinton, aides ‘extremely careless’ with classified information, won’t recommend prosecution


FBI: No evidence that Clinton intentionally deleted emails to obscure them


FBI is referring its Clinton email investigation to prosecutors


Journalists banned by the Trump campaign may be allowed into the Republican convention

(Cliff Owen / Associated Press)

Journalists banned from Donald Trump’s campaign events can rejoin their press colleagues in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention, an official said Tuesday.

“If they have made it through the credentialing process, yes,” Annie Tin, the House Press Gallery director, who issues credentials for the convention, said in an interview with the Washington Examiner.

Giving control of the credentialing process to the House helps candidates stay neutral in the credentialing of reporters, Tin said.

“This is fascinating to discuss at this time when we’re dealing with the Trump campaign and some of the things that are happening with his campaign, banning journalists from participating and attending his events,” she said.

Trump’s campaign has blacklisted several publications from his rallies, including the Washington Post, Politico and BuzzFeed News.


Trump tries to pin complaints about his six-pointed-star tweet on Clinton

Donald Trump moved to defend a widely decried tweet over the weekend after Hillary Clinton’s campaign labeled it “blatantly anti-Semitic.”

The tweet from Trump’s account, later deleted, featured an illustration of Clinton next to a six-pointed star with the words “most corrupt candidate ever!” in it, all over a background of $100 bills.

Twitter users immediately slammed Trump for the image’s anti-Semitic overtones. Clinton’s campaign said it was part of a string of divisive rhetoric from Trump.

“The fact that it’s a part of a pattern should give voters major cause for concern,” Clinton’s campaign director for Jewish outreach, Sarah Bard, said in a statement.

Trump argued in a Facebook post that the star is a sheriff’s star, not the Jewish Star of David. He accused Clinton of trying to shift attention away from her husband’s impromptu meeting with Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch last week, which was criticized because it came in the middle of the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email use while she was secretary of State.

“Clinton, through her surrogates, is just trying to divert attention from the dishonest behavior of herself and her husband,” Trump said in a statement.

Trump’s social media director, Dan Scavino, said his team took the image from an anti-Clinton account. traced the illustration to a deleted Twitter account and message board filled with anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi posts.

“As the social media director for the campaign, I would never offend anyone and therefore chose to remove the image,” Scavino said.


Obama will campaign for Hillary Clinton in the hopes that his popularity can help hers

Hillary Clinton and President Obama will make their first joint campaign appearance Tuesday.
Hillary Clinton and President Obama will make their first joint campaign appearance Tuesday.
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

President Obama is enjoying resurgent popularity with voters at an opportune time for Hillary Clinton, as the presumptive Democratic nominee looks to him to help boost her support among an electorate that remains skeptical of her.

The two will make their first campaign appearance together Tuesday afternoon in Charlotte, N.C. Obama has been eager to hit the stump on Clinton’s behalf, and both her campaign and the White House are confident he will be a potent weapon in their bid to reintroduce Clinton to uneasy voters and define rival Donald Trump as unhinged and a phony.

The event comes after a rough few days for Clinton that added to voter doubts about her trustworthiness. The presumptive Democratic nominee, whose “record of being dishonest” was already a serious concern for 69% of voters in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last week, spent 3½ hours being questioned by the FBI about her email practices over the holiday weekend. Americans had just turned their attention back to the FBI investigation after word spread about a meeting on a private plane last week between Bill Clinton and Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch, who say they ran into each other at the Phoenix airport. Whatever was discussed at that meeting — the two say the FBI probe did not come up — it struck even Democratic leaders as inappropriate amid the investigation and became yet another self-inflicted wound for the Clintons.

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