Trump lets off fireworks in Iowa and slams Clinton over emails
Donald Trump closed out a busy news day Friday with a fireworks display at a rally in battleground Iowa as he hardened his attack on Hillary Clinton amid renewed investigation of her emails.
Trump suggested there was criminal wrongdoing in Clinton’s handling of classified information, even though the FBI has given no such indication of the scope or extent of its scrutiny of newly found emails.
“The FBI would have never reopened the case at this time unless it was the most egregious criminal offense,” Trump said.
He also said Clinton was wrong in saying that federal investigators had notified only Republicans in Congress of their new review. (His claim that Democrats had also been told could not be immediately verified.)
Trump acknowledged that he has been critical of the FBI’s handling of the case, but now, he said, he “gives them great credit.”
The rally was Trump’s final one of the night and drew thousands, including a protester with a sign against racism. Trump did not slow down his speech as she was escorted out of the venue.
After his short speech came the fireworks.
Obama ignores Clinton’s email controversy, emphasizing instead that she’s ‘really, really qualified’
President Obama preached a simple message here on behalf of Hillary Clinton – she’s “really, really qualified” – while ignoring new questions about her private email server raised by the Department of Justice on Friday.
“You don’t want the slacker as your president,” Obama told a stadium filled with 9,000 people, urging residents of this swing state not to “kick back and think we got this thing won.”
“Media stories go up and down,” Obama said, noting at another point, “I know there’s a lot of crazy stuff on TV.”
Obama did not directly refer to the FBI’s announcement that it is again looking into emails potentially related to the private email server Clinton used while serving as secretary of State.
FBI Director James Comey announced the decision after his agency came across new communications on a computer shared by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. Investigators were looking into whether Weiner violated federal law while texting a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.
The news gives new fuel to a damaging controversy for Clinton just as she was cruising toward election day with strong poll numbers and a battalion of powerful surrogates speaking out for her. Obama’s Friday trip to Florida was the increasingly popular president’s second in eight days.
Aides to Obama declined to detail anything about the investigation and said they first learned about it in news accounts.
Obama said the most important facts in the election are “really clear.”
“You’ve got one person who is really, really qualified,” Obama said of Clinton. And then you’ve got Donald Trump, he said, who gives evidence of his lack of fitness for office every time he speaks.
Clinton: The FBI needs to tell us more about its investigation into the new emails, now
Hillary Clinton joined calls Friday for the FBI to provide “the full and complete facts” about its investigation into whether newly discovered emails have links to her private email server, and she brushed off questions about the political fallout.
“People, a long time ago, made up their minds about the emails,” she told reporters after an event in Des Moines. “I think that’s factored in to what people think.”
Comey told congressional investigators that emails found on a computer used by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband Anthony Weiner were being examined for any evidence that Clinton or her aides mishandled sensitive information while she was secretary of State.
The announcement rekindled the controversy over Clinton’s use of a private server just 11 days before the presidential election with Clinton comfortably leading Donald Trump in polls.
Clinton said neither she nor members of her team had been contacted directly by the FBI about the new steps Director James Comey discussed Friday, noting twice that the agency had communicated only with Republican members of Congress.
Whatever is in the new emails, Clinton said, she was confident they would not change the conclusion that Comey reached in July when he said he would not recommend criminal charges against her over her use of a private server.
“It’s imperative that the bureau explain this issue in question, whatever it is, without any delay,” she said.
Clinton would not say whether she had spoken with Abedin about the matter. The emails were discovered as part of the agency’s separate investigation into whether Weiner broke the law by exchanging explicit texts with a 15-year-old, law enforcement officials said.
“We’ve heard these rumors. We don’t know what to believe,” Clinton said. “I’m sure there will be even more rumors. That’s why it is incumbent upon the FBI to tell us what they’re talking about … because right now your guess is as good as mine. And I don’t think that’s good enough.”
A more measured Trump surprisingly stays on script amid Clinton’s email trouble
Donald Trump appeared restrained Friday at a packed gymnasium in Maine as he worked to stay on message as Hillary Clinton’s email troubles returned.
The crowd, however, was not.
Trump had barely begun speaking when he was wildly interrupted.
“As you might have heard today, the FBI —” he began, before the crowd roared over him, some with calls to “lock her up!”
“The American people fully understand her corruption. Justice will finally be served,” he said to more cheers. “This is the biggest scandal since Watergate and I’m sure it’ll be properly handled.”
The FBI told lawmakers Friday that it was looking at newly discovered emails for links to Clinton’s private email server.
Trump spoke about the issue for fewer than two minutes before returning to his planned speech on his policy agenda, using the more measured tone that comes with using a teleprompter.
“Now, getting back to things that don’t sound as exciting,” he joked.
After running through his familiar campaign themes, he couldn’t help but engage in a bit of conversation with the capacity crowd of 1,200 at the end.
“Get out and vote!” he said. asking who had already cast ballots.
“You haven’t voted?” he said. “You’re fired!”
Clinton campaign calls on FBI director to provide more details of new email review
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is calling on FBI Director James Comey to provide a fuller explanation of new steps the agency is taking in connection to its review of the candidate’s use of a private email server.
Chairman John Podesta, in the campaign’s first public statement on the matter, called it “extraordinary” that Comey would not be more forthcoming in its explanation of circumstances behind its decision, given that the presidential election is just 11 days away.
“Comey should immediately provide the American public more information than is contained in the letter he sent to eight Republican committee chairmen,” he said.
Podesta took issue with the characterization by Republicans that the agency was “reopening” its investigation, and noted that Comey’s own statement says the emails it is reviewing may not be significant.
The agency discovered new communications in devices seized from close Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, a former New York congressman, according to a law enforcement official.
Podesta also pointed to Comey’s previous public statement explaining his decision not to recommend charges against the Democratic presidential hopeful. Comey said that no reasonable prosecutor would move forward with such a case and added that it was not even a close call.
“The director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining. We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July,” he said.
The big winners from latest email news? Down-ballot Republicans in tight races
Whether or not the latest FBI review of emails related to Hillary Clinton has any impact on the presidential race, it’s a clear benefit to Republicans in tight Senate and House races.
For the last two weeks, Republicans such as Sens. Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Richard Burr in North Carolina, Marco Rubio in Florida and Senate hopeful Joe Heck in Nevada have had to fend off repeated questions about Donald Trump.
Friday’s news gave them a way to change the subject back to Clinton. They, along with other Republican candidates in tight races, were quick to jump on it.
One common theme: The news shows why voters should choose Republicans for Congress to act as a check on a possible President Clinton.
“I said all along that these were less than ideal choices before us, and that’s why we need a Senator willing to stand up to the next president no matter who it is,” Rubio said in a statement.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), caught in an unexpectedly close race in his San Diego County district, issued a statement saying the news “shows exactly why we need strong watchdogs in Congress to ensure thorough oversight of the executive branch.”
Heck, in his statement, demanded to know when his Democratic opponent, Catherine Cortez Masto, would “stand up to Hillary Clinton’s reckless behavior.”
The presidential race has been notably stable for months -- reflecting the fact that most voters already have strong views about Clinton and Trump. Creating significant movement in a race like that, particularly one in which millions of people already have voted early, is not easy.
By contrast, House and Senate races often can shift by large amounts in the final days of a campaign. And with many congressional races tight this year, and Republicans worried about the potential for Trump to pull their candidates down, the FBI news came as a lucky break.
Paul Ryan renews call to suspend classified briefings for Hillary Clinton
House Speaker Paul Ryan, seizing on news that the FBI is looking into newly found Hillary Clinton emails, renewed his call to suspend classified briefings to the Democratic presidential nominee.
The intelligence briefings are customary for nominees of the two major political parties.
“Yet again, Hillary Clinton has nobody but herself to blame,” Ryan said in a statement. “She was entrusted with some of our nation’s most important secrets, and she betrayed that trust by carelessly mishandling highly classified information.”
The FBI said it was renewing the investigation because it had found additional Clinton emails and wanted to determine whether classified information was handled properly.
Ryan characterized the FBI’s announcement as a reopening of the bureau’s investigation into her private email server, though the FBI did not use that terminology.
“This decision, long overdue, is the result of her reckless use of a private email server, and her refusal to be forthcoming with federal investigators,” Ryan said.
With less than two weeks until election day, the FBI announcement has roiled the presidential race, although it’s unclear whether it will boost support for Donald Trump, the GOP nominee.
With early voting already underway in much of the country, polls have shown Clinton consistently ahead of Trump and suggest he may drag down other Republicans on the ballot.
The FBI announcement is helpful to Ryan, however. His badly strained relationship with Trump has hurt his standing in the GOP. Antipathy toward Clinton is the issue that most unites the party.
Trump welcomes FBI probe: ‘Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we have never seen’
Donald Trump stepped on stage for a rally here with news even he wasn’t expecting to deliver: the FBI’s new investigation of his rival’s email server.
“Hillary Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we have never seen before,” Trump said as the crowed roared “lock her up,” a staple chant at his rallies.
“We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office.”
He joked that he might as well ditch his planned policy speech that was “so boring” compared with Friday’s announcement.
“I have great respect for the fact that the FBI and Department of Justice are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made,” Trump said.
“This was a grave miscarriage of justice that the American people fully understood ,and it is everybody’s hope that it is about to be corrected.”
The crowd, already restless after waiting 90 minutes for Trump’s late arrival, roared.
“This is bigger than Watergate,” Trump said.
Clinton has yet to respond.
Hillary Clinton targets Arizona in home stretch
Hillary Clinton will campaign in Arizona on Wednesday, a sign that her team sees more states up for grabs in the home stretch of the presidential race.
Arizona has voted Republican in every presidential election except one since 1952. But Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters that it’s “another battleground state that is now on the map,” especially as its growing Latino population tilts the scales in Democrats’ favor.
Mook said one-third of the expected Arizona electorate has already voted, and the campaign believes that it is deadlocked there with Republican nominee Donald Trump. By comparison, he said, Mitt Romney was leading President Obama in Arizona by about 9 nine percentage points at the same point in the 2012 election.
“[Arizona] is joining what is all very competitive races,” Mook said, referring to states such as Ohio and Iowa, where polls also show tight contests. “We are not running away with anything.”
After facing months of questions about whether Clinton could reactivate Obama’s coalition of supporters to win the White House, her campaign is now referring to an emerging “Hillary coalition.”
In addition to minorities and young people, Mook said, independent voters and Republican women are also turning out for Clinton in early voting.
He portrayed the presidential race as tight despite public polls showing Clinton with a solid lead.
“Complacency is probably our biggest enemy right now,” he said.
Donald Trump, under fire for lack of personal spending, adds $10 million to the campaign, according to report
Donald Trump, facing ridicule and resentment from Republicans for failing to live up to a pledge to give generously to his campaign, wired $10 million of his own money Friday morning to help buy television ads in the final stretch, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal, citing two unnamed sources, reports that Trump’s money will seed a $25-million buy in key battleground states.
Trump had spent only about $33,000, all in in-kind contributions, toward his campaign during the first 19 days of October, according to campaign reports made public Thursday.
The business mogul has vowed often to spend $100 million or more of his personal wealth on the campaign. But Trump is far short of that promise; adding $10 million would mean he has given $66 million, much of it in the form of loans.
The money matters, not just because it’s a question of Trump’s keeping his word. He is being badly outspent by Hillary Clinton. Thursday’s fundraising reports show the advantage remains strong: Her joint fundraising account with Democrats had $153 million in cash as of last week; Trump and his party had $68 million.
Donald Trump: I would have fired my staff if they were as disloyal as Hillary Clinton’s
Trump Jr. helps push a stalled car in 100-degree Arizona heat
Donald Trump Jr. took a moment from his father’s campaign trail Thursday to help push a car stuck in the middle of a Mesa, Ariz., intersection.
A video of the incident shows Trump Jr., the GOP nominee’s eldest son, jumping out of his car and getting behind the stranded Impala to help push it into a nearby lot. It was at least 100 degrees in the city that day, and the woman in the car couldn’t move it herself.
Maricopa County Republican Party Chairman Tyler Bowyer took the video and posted it to Twitter and Facebook, where it has gained more than 900,000 views and 5,000 retweets.
“I’ve been around a lot of politicians. Most would just freak out or go around,” Bowyer told the Arizona Republic newspaper. “But Don Jr. ... before you can blink, he’s out there pushing the car.”
Baldwin brothers tangle on Twitter over Trump
Leave it to “Star Trek” actor George Takei to rehash a Baldwin brothers feud over this presidential election.
Actors and brothers Billy and Stephen Baldwin exchanged jabs on Twitter on Oct. 9 and 10 because of Stephen’s support of Donald Trump. But it took a Takei retweet to bring forward the argument about the Baldwin patriarch and who he would have supported — Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Takei included a call to the eldest Baldwin brother, Alec, who is playing Trump this season on “Saturday Night Live.” Alec has not responded.
Billy later hinted that this election may ruffle some feathers at Thanksgiving this year. So he invited Takei along to referee.
Evan McMullin fires back: ‘What does the Republican Party stand for anymore?’
Evan McMullin fired back against Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and other conservative critics Friday, in comments that underscore the deep rift Donald Trump’s nomination has caused in the GOP.
McMullin is an independent presidential candidate running as a conservative alternative to Trump. He has made Utah — a normally reliable state for Republicans — unusually competitive, prompting anger from some of Trump’s most vocal supporters.
“Who’s this idiot that’s running third party that’s killing Trump out in Utah?” Hannity said on on his radio show Wednesday. “Who put him up? Was it the Bush people, the Romney people?”
Then there was a Dobbs tweet calling McMullin the “globalist, Romney, and Mormon Mafia Tool.”
McMullin, asked about the criticism on CNN on Friday, questioned whether Trump’s biggest boosters in the media are even true conservatives, echoing criticism from many prominent conservatives who disapprove of Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric, opposition to trade deals and other aspects of his candidacy.
“It’s interesting that these people, who consider themselves so-called conservatives, especially Sean Hannity, would so attack us,” he said. “You have to ask yourself: At this point what do these men really stand for?”
“Why would they stand with Donald Trump if they’re true conservatives as he attacks people based on their faith, their race, their gender?” he added. “And in fact, I think we have to ask ourselves, what does the Republican Party stand for anymore?”
That question is sure to linger, whether Trump wins or loses the election or McMullin fades away.
Mike Pence is fine -- and appearing on five TV news shows -- after runway scare
Running mates, particularly in this election, don’t get much attention. But when your plane skids off the runway at LaGuardia Airport in New York, as happened to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday night, the TV news outlets come calling.
Pence on Friday got a lighter version of the “Full Ginsburg” treatment, so named for attorney William Ginsburg after he appeared on five major Sunday TV news shows to discuss his client, Monica Lewinsky, in the late 1990s.
Pence appeared on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and Fox -- either in the studio or by phone.
“It was about 10 seconds of uncertainty,” Pence told “CBS This Morning.”
“[The plane] fishtailed a bit,” Pence told ABC’s “Good Morning America”, adding that his son, a Marine Corps aviator, likes to say that “every landing you walk away from is a good one.”
“It seemed like the first responders were literally around the plane before we came to a rest,” Pence told NBC’s “Today.”
Pence was a game guest, modestly recounting the brief ordeal before touting Donald Trump’s presidential bid and deflecting controversial questions about voter fraud and violence.
He downplayed law enforcement concerns about post-election violence on the CBS interview.
“I really just don’t see it,” Pence said. “The people that are rallying around this team, rallying around our cause, love this country.”
He said he trusts the voting process “very broadly” but pointed to “ample examples of fraud” before pivoting to a pitch for Trump.
Clinton rakes in $53 million, Trump $30 million in October
Hillary Clinton entered the final phase of her presidential bid with a resounding campaign cash advantage over Donald Trump.
New fundraising reports show her campaign and joint accounts with Democrats had $153 million in the bank as of last week. That’s more than double the $68 million Trump’s campaign and partnership committees had on hand.
Over the course of the primary and general elections, Clinton’s campaign has hauled in $513 million, about double what Trump’s has.
She outpaced him again in the first 19 days of October, the new reports show, when her campaign reaped $53 million as his brought in about $30 million.
Though Trump, a New York businessman who says he is worth $10 billion, typically makes a personal contribution of about $2 million each month, he had not done so yet in October. The latest contribution reports, up to date as of Wednesday, show he had given only about $33,000.
The candidates and many outside groups involved in the presidential race filed their final pre-election fundraising reports on Thursday. The filings cover the first 19 days of the month.
Donald Trump makes a bigly -- or is it big-league? -- revelation
Of all the pressing campaign controversies, this one has to rank ... somewhere.
Has Donald Trump really revived the fortunes of an obscure word -- “bigly” -- or is he merely sliding his pronunciation of “big league?”
Someone finally had the courage to ask. And the answer is sure to please some and confound others.
At first, Trump did not seem to understand the question during an interview on the global Catholic network EWTN that aired Thursday night. But then he caught on, and settled it. For now. As Trump surely knows, there will always be doubters.
“I use ‘big league,’” Trump said.
The interviewer seemed pleased: “I was right!”
Who’s helping Clinton make this a ‘Year of the Woman’? Mostly, it’s Trump
In the closing stretch of the presidential race, Hillary Clinton is trying to harness women’s anger over Donald Trump’s behavior into a surge of support for her and other female candidates.
It’s an effort that harks back to Democratic victories that stemmed from similar controversy a quarter-century ago, in an election that became known as the “Year of the Woman.”
On Thursday, First Lady Michelle Obama, the most popular figure on the national stage, campaigned alongside Clinton in North Carolina. Two days earlier, Sen. Elizabeth Warren campaigned with Clinton in New Hampshire. Each delivered a “hear me roar” message prodding female voters to help Clinton defeat Trump.