Donald Trump Reacts To James Comey's Hillary Clinton Announcement In The Most Predictable Way Possible
On Sunday, FBI Director James Comey announced that there was not sufficient evidence in a new batch of recently discovered emails to warrant any further investigation of Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information via a private email server used during her time as Secretary of State. Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump reacted swiftly to Comey's announcement, implying that he thought that a "rigged" federal system was protecting her and that she was guilty of federal crimes. So, as you'd expect, he's still attached the both the Clinton emails and the idea that the election is somehow rigged.
At a rally Sunday afternoon in Sterling Heights, Michigan, Trump very overtly expressed his dismay at the FBI's decision, stating,
Hillary Clinton is guilty. She knows it, the FBI knows it, the people know it, and now it's up to the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box on November 8.
During the rally, Trump also called into question the thoroughness of the FBI's second investigation into Clinton's emails, accusing the FBI of not being able to sift through (supposedly) 650,000 emails in eight days' time, and concluding that a "rigged" Justice Department worked in Clinton's favor. Trump also alluded to what he perceived as fractures within the FBI, saying he believes, despite Comey's announcement, that investigations into Clinton "...will go on for a long time" and that "the rank-and-file special agents at the FBI won't let her get away with her terrible crimes..."
Trump's portrayal of Clinton as a criminal, despite official investigations absolutely establishing otherwise, is not a new tactic for the Republican presidential candidate. Throughout the duration of Trump's campaign, he has repeatedly framed Clinton's actions via her private email server as criminal in nature, despite FBI findings to the contrary in July after a year-long investigation. Indeed, in the second presidential debate, Trump asserted that, should he become president, he would convene a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton's emails, and also directly told the Democratic candidate that she would "be in jail" if he is elected. More recently, following the FBI's announcement that it was examining a second batch of Clinton's emails, Trump very inaccurately stated that Clinton was "likely to be indicted soon" and that she was under review in "multiple open criminal investigations."
By focusing on what he perceives as Clinton's misdeeds, Trump likely hopes to rally a voting base by uniting voters against his Democratic opponent. Conveniently, this tactic also allows him to avoid addressing his extensive shortfalls as a candidate. Lately, Trump is particularly prone to using this tactic in swing states, where he needs to win over as many voters as possible.
While it is certainly frustrating that Trump has centered a good deal of his campaign on charging Clinton with misconduct, despite the fact that she's been cleared twice, his rhetoric still does sometimes resonate with voters, who agree that the system is rigged. For this reason, it's more important than ever in the days leading up to the election to ensure that accurate messages about Clinton and her conduct as Secretary of State are perpetuated, and that voters have access to fair and accurate information about both candidates.