- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The presidential campaign veered far off course Wednesday as Donald Trump’s political opponents called for him to be investigated over inciting violence against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — and Mrs. Clinton faced her own questions about corruption during her time in the State Department.

As if to underscore the weirdness, a man using suction cups climbed up the side of Trump Tower in New York City for more than two hours, avoiding police, snarling traffic below him and raising still more questions about the candidates and their safety. In an online video, the man claimed to be a Trump supporter looking for a unique way to get the Republican presidential nominee’s attention.

Mr. Trump wasn’t in New York but out on the campaign trail. He and Mrs. Clinton intended to use this week to talk about their economic plans.

Instead, his runaway mouth and her murky dealings during her time as the country’s top diplomat knocked both off-message.

Mr. Trump continued to grab the lion’s share of headlines with his political opponents saying his offhand comment that the “Second Amendment people” could stop Mrs. Clinton appeared to be a veiled threat against her.

“The comments made by Trump should not be dismissed as a joke or considered careless. Statements such as those made by Trump have the potential to inspire other possible bad actors to plan and attempt to carry out violence,” said Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, who said the Secret Service should investigate Mr. Trump for potential lawbreaking.

Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee Bill Weld, a former top federal prosecutor himself, also said Mr. Trump crossed a line.

“If this were a remark by a non-candidate, and she was in office, it would definitely be investigated as a threat against the president, and I will say so,” Mr. Weld said in a statement provided to The Washington Times.

Mr. Trump brushed aside the criticism, saying his remarks at a rally Tuesday were meant to suggest gun rights supporters would flex their political muscle, not their weaponry, to stop Mrs. Clinton from her gun control efforts.

He also angrily shot down a report by CNN that the Secret Service had spoken with his campaign about the remarks, saying on Twitter that “no such meeting or conversation ever happened.”

The Trump comments came at a rally Tuesday, when the billionaire businessman was warning voters that Mrs. Clinton wanted to curb their gun rights and would appoint people to the Supreme Court who would follow her wishes.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” Mr. Trump said, then added, “although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Mrs. Clinton said at her own rally Wednesday that that was “inciting” violence, and said voters should reject Mr. Trump for that alone. “Donald Trump simply does not have the temperament to be president and commander in chief,” she said.

Republicans, however, said Mrs. Clinton is too beholden to wealthy special interests to claim the White House after emails released Tuesday showed contacts between a top official at the Clinton Global Initiative and Mrs. Clinton’s aides at the State Department, with the CGI official asking the department to connect one of CGI’s donors to the U.S. ambassador in Lebanon.

Another email showed Clinton Foundation aides pushing the State Department to hire someone.

The Clinton campaign blasted the release of the emails by Judicial Watch, a conservative group that obtained them through open records requests from the State Department.

The department itself, meanwhile, clammed up, saying it wouldn’t speak about whether the person was hired.

“I’m not going to speak to specific emails,” department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters, though she said they “feel confident that all the rules were followed.”

Ms. Trudeau struggled to explain another series of emails released by Judicial Watch on Wednesday that showed Mrs. Clinton’s department chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, acknowledged getting an open records request for Mrs. Clinton’s emails in 2012 — yet the department continued to tell the public there were no Clinton emails.

Nearly two years later, Mrs. Clinton admitted she did have tens of thousands of messages that rightfully belonged to the government.

Ms. Trudeau said the lower-level people handling open records requests never knew about Mrs. Clinton’s email, but the spokeswoman couldn’t account for why Ms. Mills was aware but didn’t set things right.

“It’s a good question. I don’t have an answer for you,” the spokeswoman said.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the revelations are more evidence that the Obama administration should release all of Mrs. Clinton’s emails before the November election.

“Anything less than a full release of these public records before voting begins will only further prove that we have a rigged system that has one set of rules for political elites and another for everyone else,” he said.

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