Clin­ton: Won’t be ‘knocked off course’ in fi­nal week

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Julie Pace and Ken Thomas

WIL­TON MANORS, FLA. >> Hil­lary Clin­ton vowed Sun­day that she would not be “knocked off course” in the elec­tion’s fi­nal days, as she sought to push past a new FBI email in­quiry in a sex­ting probe that de­liv­ered a late jolt to her race against Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump.

“I’m not stop­ping now, we’re just get­ting warmed up,” Clin­ton de­clared dur­ing a packed rally with gay and les­bian sup­port­ers in bat­tle­ground Florida. “We’re not go­ing to be dis­tracted, no mat­ter what our op­po­nents throw at us.”

Mean­while, Trump con­tin­ued to spread base­less doubts about the in­tegrity of the Amer­i­can vot­ing sys­tem, this time tak­ing aim at Colorado’s voteby-mail sys­tem. Sug­gest­ing that mailed-in bal­lots might not be prop­erly counted, Trump told sup­port­ers at a Gree­ley rally to vote in per­son in­stead of re­ly­ing on the state’s mail-in sys­tem — even if they’ve al­ready sub­mit­ted their bal­lots.

“They will give you a bal­lot, a new bal­lot,” he said. “They’ll void your old bal­lot and give you a new bal­lot and you can go ahead and make sure it gets in. Now in some places they prob­a­bly do that four or five times. We don’t do that. But that’s great.”

Clin­ton’s ad­vis­ers and fel­low Democrats pres­sured FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey anew to re­lease more de­tails about the emails, in­clud­ing whether Comey had even re­viewed them him­self. The mes­sage was aimed at gath­er­ing more in­for­ma­tion about what the bureau is seek­ing from a com­puter that ap­pears to be­long to dis­graced for­mer New York Rep. An­thony Weiner, the es­tranged hus­band of Huma Abe­din, one of Clin­ton’s clos­est ad­vis­ers.

A law en­force­ment of­fi­cial con­firmed late Sun­day in­ves­ti­ga­tors had ob­tained a search war­rant to be­gin the re­view of Abe­din’s emails on Weiner’s com­puter. The of­fi­cial has knowl­edge of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but was not au­tho­rized to speak pub­licly and did so on con­di­tion of anonymity. The of­fi­cial said in­ves­ti­ga­tors would move ex­pe­di­tiously, but would not say when the re­view might be com­plete.

Tim Kaine, Clin­ton’s run­ning mate, said Comey owed it to the pub­lic to be more forth­com­ing about the emails un­der re­view by the FBI with only nine days re­main­ing be­fore the Nov. 8 elec­tion. Call­ing Comey’s an­nounce­ment “ex­tremely puz­zling,” Kaine said that if Comey “hasn’t seen the emails, I mean they need to make that com­pletely plain.”

Clin­ton made unan­nounced stops Sun­day in Florida at an early vot­ing lo­ca­tion, a Miami brunch spot and a soul food res­tau­rant. She also ad­dressed a pre­dom­i­nantly black church, where she spoke of over­com­ing dis­ap­point­ments.

“Scrip­ture tells us to re­joice in our suf­fer­ings, know­ing that suf­fer­ing pro­duces en­durance and en­durance pro­duces char­ac­ter,” she said. “And char­ac­ter pro­duces hope.”

Clin­ton made no di­rect men­tion of the new FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which has cre­ated anx­i­ety among Democrats. Dur­ing a cam­paign ap­pear­ance on Satur­day, she crit­i­cized the FBI for a lack of trans­parency, then tried to shift her at­ten­tion back to Trump on Sun­day, cast­ing him as a self­ish bil­lion­aire with a strik­ing lack of em­pa­thy.

Speak­ing to LGBT sup­port­ers in Wil­ton Manors, she seized on a Wash­ing­ton Post re­port about Trump ap­pear­ing at a fundraiser for chil­dren with HIV and pre­tend­ing to be a donor, though he never gave money to the char­ity.

“It’s al­ways Don­ald Trump first and every­one else last,” she said.

Comey’s ac­tions Fri­day have roiled the White House race, en­er­giz­ing Trump as polls had showed him slid­ing and un­nerv­ing Democrats wor­ried about the pres­i­dency and down­bal­lot con­gres­sional races.

He cam­paigned with new con­fi­dence in Colorado later Sun­day, not­ing the polls were tight­en­ing even “be­fore the big bomb­shell” Fri­day.

In a let­ter to Congress on Fri­day, Comey said the FBI had re­cently come upon new emails while pur­su­ing an un­re­lated case and was re­view­ing whether they were clas­si­fied.

The FBI is look­ing into whether there was clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion on a de­vice be­long­ing to Weiner. Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties in New York and North Carolina are in­ves­ti­gat­ing on­line com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween Weiner and a 15-year-old girl.

The de­vel­op­ments prompted Trump to quip to his Las Ve­gas sup­port­ers, “We never thought we were go­ing to say ‘thank you’ to An­thony Weiner,” he said.

A law en­force­ment of­fi­cial said Sun­day that FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tors in the Weiner sex­ting probe knew for weeks about the ex­is­tence of newly dis­cov­ered emails that might be rel­e­vant to the Clin­ton email in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The of­fi­cial was not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the mat­ter by name and spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

Comey said he was briefed Thurs­day about that de­vel­op­ment and told Congress on Fri­day that in­ves­ti­ga­tors had found the emails. A se­cond law en­force­ment of­fi­cial also said the FBI was aware for a pe­riod of time about the emails be­fore Comey was briefed, but the se­cond of­fi­cial wasn’t more spe­cific.

Trump cam­paign man­ager Kellyanne Con­way said Comey was in “an im­pos­si­ble spot” when he ac­knowl­edged the FBI was look­ing into the mes­sages. “Had he sat on the in­for­ma­tion, one can ar­gue that he also would be in­ter­fer­ing in the elec­tion,” by fail­ing to dis­close the re­view, Con­way said.

The con­tro­versy over Clin­ton’s email prac­tices while she served as sec­re­tary of state has dogged her for more than a year.

Kaine ap­peared on ABC’s “This Week,” Podesta and Con­way were on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton, right, speaks with trav­el­ing po­lit­i­cal ad­viser Dar­ren Peters, cen­ter left, as she leaves an early vot­ing brunch at Fado Ir­ish Pub in Miami on Sun­day

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