Clinton, Trump sprint across U.S. as campaigns react to dramatic development in email case

The Washington Post

Promising to bring back jobs, Republican Donald Trump on Sunday made a late-hour appeal here in this industrial Midwestern state, one of several Democratic strongholds he is trying to wrest away from Hillary Clinton.

"We're going to stop the jobs from going to Mexico, China and all over the world," Trump said at the third of five planned rallies Sunday. "The economic policies of Bill and Hillary Clinton have bled Michigan dry, almost more than any other place."

The GOP nominee's appearance came hours after news broke that, after an expedited review of newly discovered Clinton emails, FBI Director James Comey had affirmed his decision that she should not face charges related to her use of a personal server as secretary of state.

During his rally here - in a state a Republican presidential candidate last carried in 1988 - Trump said Clinton was "being protected by a rigged system, it's a totally rigged system."

"Hillary Clinton is guilty," Trump said. "She's knows it. The FBI knows it. The people know it. Now it's up to the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box on November 8th."

Comey's announcement on Oct. 28 that the FBI was scrutinizing newly discovered email reinvigorated Trump's campaign in the closing stretch of the race, and polls in multiple battleground states have tightened since then.

Clinton communications director reacted to the FBI news on the campaign's flight to a Cleveland rally, telling reporters: "We are glad to see that ... [Comey] has confirmed the conclusions he reached in July, and we are glad that this matter is resolved."

After she landed, Clinton was introduced by Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star LeBron James, part of an effort to spark enthusiasm in Ohio, a state where polls have showed Trump leading.

Clinton is using the closing days of the race to try to both shore up support in states like Michigan where she has been leading and tip the balance in other swing states. She currently has a lead in the national polls and has several more paths available to win in the Electoral College on Tuesday.

Clinton used the rally in Cleveland to argue that Trump has a "dark and divisive" vision of the country and that she is offering something more hopeful.

"I want an America where everyone has a place, where everyone is included," Clinton said. "And I know there is a lot of frustration, even anger, in this election season. I see it, I hear it, you know, I'm a subject of it. I get it. But anger is not a plan. Anger is not going to get us new jobs."

The more optimistic look toward the future was a script her campaign had hoped to use as a springboard past the exceptional rancor of the last several months of her contest with Trump, but it had been muted somewhat by the uncertainty surrounding the renewed FBI inquiry and the tightening polls.

Sunday's event was Clinton's last scheduled visit to Ohio, where she trails despite heavy emphasis on turning out black voters in Cleveland. James was part of that effort, as were husband and wife singers Jay-Z and Beyoncé, who performed a get-out-the-vote concert with Clinton on Friday night.

Clinton was scheduled to cap her day Sunday with an appearance in Manchester, New Hampshire, where folk star James Taylor was warming up the crowd.

Both candidates were scrambling Sunday to gain advantage in some newly competitive battleground states as well as lock down others where they've held leads.

In attempt to cobble together the 270 electoral votes needed to win, Trump has new targets in his sights in historically Democratic states including Michigan, Minnesota and New Mexico.

Once thought to be safe for Democrats, Michigan has become a last-minute battleground, with Clinton heading to Grand Rapids on Monday, the campaign announced this weekend. President Obama, who won Michigan twice, will campaign in Ann Arbor on Monday. And former president Bill Clinton made a stop in Lansing on Sunday after visiting churches in Flint.

Clinton began her day Sunday by campaigning in Philadelphia after attending a get-out-the-vote concert in the city on Saturday night. And she will return to the state for two rallies on the eve of Election Day, a sign that the Keystone State is among the battlegrounds where her lead over Trump has dwindled in recent days.

Her campaign announced that rock star Bruce Springsteen would join her at a Philadelphia rally that will also include President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

A top Clinton aide said Sunday that the race is effectively over and that the campaign believes Clinton will hold on to blue, upper Midwestern states such as Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

"We think we have this race over," Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said Sunday morning on ABC News' "This Week. "We're going to get over our 270 electoral votes."

Clinton also deployed a full slate of high-level surrogates around the country on Sunday, including Obama, who appeared in Kissimmee, Fla., and poked fun at Trump.

"Apparently his campaign has taken his Twitter," Obama told the crowd at Osceola County Stadium. "In the last two days, they had so little confidence in his self control, they said we're just gonna take away your Twitter. Now, if somebody can't handle a Twitter account, they can't handle the nuclear codes."

Trump started his five-state swing in Sioux City in eastern Iowa, close to the Nebraska border. Nebraska is one of two states that can split its electoral votes between candidates, and in 2008, one electoral vote from the Omaha area went to Obama.

He was also scheduled to make stops in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Trump's planned stop in Northern Virginia on Sunday night comes as Republicans see new hope in a state where Clinton has long held a comfortable lead.

At an earlier rally Sunday in Minneapolis, Trump told the crowd that Clinton was taking the Democratic leaning state of Minnesota for granted by not visiting it.

Trump also warned about a local immigrant population: Somalis, most of them Muslims, who have left their war-ravaged country and settled in large numbers around Minneapolis.

"You don't even have the right to talk about it. You don't even know who's coming in. You'll find out. You'll find out," Trump said. He mentioned a recent stabbing case, in which the suspect is a man whose parents brought him from Somalia when he was three months old. "You've suffered enough in Minnesota."

Trump said Clinton would allow more refugees to enter: "Her plan will import generations of terrorism."

Here in Sterling Heights, rock star Ted Nugent, a Michigan native who in a 2012 Facebook post called for Clinton to be tried and hanged for treason, provided entertainment at the rally, declaring it was "good to see the real Michigan together."

When Trump took the stage, he ticked off a series of trade deals that he said had devastated the state. He falsely claimed that Clinton is supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pending deal supported by Obama.

Clinton previously backed the deal while secretary of state but has since come out against it.

Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign continues to use its huge financial advantage over Trump to press its case to swing voters on the airwaves.

The campaign on Sunday released two national ads appealing to moderate and Republican voters to reject Trump and embrace Clinton. Both ads feature straight-to-camera testimonials from Republican military veterans who say they cannot vote for their party's nominee, citing Trump's comments about women. Another two-minute ad was set to air Monday night, aimed at reaching about 20 million people, according to a campaign aide.

Trump also released a closing campaign ad, a two-minute spot tying Clinton to the "failed and corrupt political establishment" and "global special interests." But the ad, which features images of piles of cash along with Jewish corporate and financial leaders, including Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Federal Reserve Chair Janet L. Yellen, was sharply criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for what it called anti-Semitic overtones. 

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