Trump Hits ‘Corrupt’ Clinton; Michelle Obama Hugs Her
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Trailing with time running out, Donald Trump denounced both Hillary and Bill Clinton Thursday as creatures of a corrupt political system who would use another pass at the Oval Office to enrich themselves at the expense of American families. Clinton turned to Michelle Obama to rally voters in North Carolina.
Trump seized on newly public emails in which longtime Bill Clinton aide Doug Band describes overlapping relationships of the Clintons’ global philanthropy and the family’s private enrichment. The emails were from the private account of a top Clinton aide.
“Mr. Band called the arrangement ‘unorthodox.’ The rest of us call it outright corrupt,” Trump declared during a rally in Springfield, Ohio. “If the Clintons were willing to play this fast and loose with their enterprise when they weren’t in the White House, just imagine what they’ll do in the Oval Office.”
Late Thursday, Trump announced that Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence and his family were OK after Pence’s plan slid off the runway in New York while landing.
Band wrote the 2011 memo to defend his firm, Teneo, describing how he encouraged his clients to contribute to the foundation and provide consulting and speaking gigs for Bill Clinton. Some of his work included obtaining “in-kind services for the president and his family — for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like.”
Clinton made no mention of the revelations as she campaigned alongside Obama.
“We want someone who is a unifying force in this country, someone who sees our differences not as a threat but as a blessing,” Obama said.
Obama also accused Trump’s campaign of trying to depress voter turnout and panned his provocative assertion that the results of the Nov. 8 contest may be rigged.
“Just for the record, in this country, the United States of America, the voters decide elections,” the first lady said. “They’ve always decided.”
With a lead in the race for weeks, Clinton’s campaign is concerned that her advantage could prompt some of her backers to stay home on Election Day or cast protest votes for a third-party candidate. Nearly all of her recent events have been in states where early voting is already underway, aimed at using the rallies to prompt supporters to bank their votes now.
Following her rally with Mrs. Obama, Clinton greeted students at an early voting site at University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She then dropped in on a homecoming pep rally at nearby North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she was greeted by a DJ blasting hip-hop, a dance troupe, a marching band and deafening cheers at the surprise stop.
Another troublesome sign for Trump: The Republicans’ congressional campaign committee has released a new TV ad that praises a GOP House member who has said Trump has “disqualified himself” to be president. The ad for Rep. Robert Dold of Illinois calls him an “independent voice” who has “stood up” to Trump, the first time the committee, which is devoted to electing Republicans to the House, has used a message openly critical of the party’s presidential nominee.
Still, the hacked emails and recent news of an Obamacare premium hike have appeared to hand Trump a pair of potent gifts in the campaign’s final fortnight. The Republican charged Thursday that the rate hikes were “making it impossible for parents to pay their bills and support their families.”
But to the frustration of many in his party, Trump has struggled to stay on message. While campaigning in Ohio, he criticized Clinton for being too tough on Vladimir Putin, another surprisingly favorable comment from Trump about the Russian leader.
“She speaks very badly of Putin, and I don’t think that’s smart,” he said.