The Trump campaign struggled to respond to the latest twist in this unprecedented election as FBI Director James Comey said he stood by his decision not to pursue the case against Clinton. At a speech in Sterling Heights, Michigan, Donald Trump suggested once again that there was a conspiracy operating against him, while his campaign manager, Kelly Anne Conway, who had been effusive in her praise of Director Comey just a week ago, now awkwardly asserted that Comey had mishandled the investigation from the get-go.
“Right now, she’s being protected by a rigged system,” Trump told a crowd of supporters at the Freedom Hill Amphitheater. “You can’t review 650,000 new emails in eight days — you just can’t do it, folks. Hillary Clinton is guilty.”
The latest twist is likely to dominate the news cycle in the final days and give encouragement to Clinton supporters who had seen polls dip when the new investigation had been announced. Still, Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said her campaign was confident nothing would change.
We were always confident nothing would cause the July decision to be revisited. Now Director Comey has confirmed ithttps://t.co/BMQQx9eRzw
Markets and the dollar were also bouyed by the news overnight. The Mexican peso surged for the first time in nearly a month, and in early Monday morning trading in Tokyo, the peso jumped 2.2 percent to 18.6009 per dollar. The US dollar also spiked as news of the FBI’s announcement broke, gaining 1.1 percent against the yen and 1 percent against the Swiss franc.
Trump’s claim that there were 650,000 emails is incorrect: That was the total number of files on the laptop seized in a separate investigation involving former Congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and it is unclear how many emails were related to Clinton. Reports indicated that many of the emails on the laptop were, in fact, duplicates of correspondence the FBI had already examined. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden weighed in, saying the FBI would have been able to figure this out in a matter of hours. Snowden also explained how to sort through the duplicates in response to a tweet from Jeff Jarvis, professor and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism:
@jeffjarvis Drop non-responsive To:/CC:/BCC:, hash both sets, then subtract those that match. Old laptops could do it in minutes-to-hours.
Many wonder why Comey released any information on the investigation before the FBI had even reviewed the docs to see if there was anything there at all. According to individuals familiar with the case, FBI officials stumbled across the emails weeks ago but did not brief Comey on the development until Thursday, October 27. Some pointed out that announcing the discovery of the emails ran contrary to department policy as potentially interfering in an election.
One of Comey’s more vocal critics was President Barack Obama,