Trump ‘thanks’ Weiner, Clinton rips rival’s ‘charity’
In dueling campaign events Sunday, Hillary Clinton stepped up her attacks on Donald Trump’s alleged phantom philanthropy, while the Republican nominee continued to pound his Democratic rival over the FBI’s new review of emails.
Clinton slammed Trump for creating what she called a “facade” of being a generous supporter of charities, saying: “With Donald, it’s always Donald Trump first and everyone else last.”
“He abuses his power, he games the system, and he doesn’t care who’s left holding the bag,” Clinton told supporters at a campaign event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In her remarks, Clinton did not address the news that FBI Director James Comey is conducting a review of emails that may be tied to her private server — something Trump seized on during an appearance in Nevada.
Clinton’s charity comments came on the heels of a Washington Post report published over the weekend, which concluded after a months-long investigation that “many of Trumps’ boasts about his philanthropy” could not be verified.
“Throughout his life in the spotlight, whether as a businessman, television star or presidential candidate, The Post found that Trump had sought credit for charity he had not given — or had claimed other people’s giving as his own,” the story said.
The Post’s report began with the story of Trump attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony in New York in the 1990s for a new nursery school for children with AIDS. Trump showed up at the event unannounced — even taking a spot in the VIP seating — despite having never donated to support the building of the school, according to the Post, surprising and agitating other donors who were in attendance.
Clinton told this story to supporters here on Sunday.
“Now, really. Who does that?” Clinton said. “Who pretends to help kids with HIV an AIDS in order to help themselves look good?”
The anecdote about children with HIV and AIDS resonated with the crowd at the event, which was hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and a local gay publication called Hotspots Media.
Speaking in Las Vegas, Trump accused Clinton of trying to bribe US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, pointing to a July report that Clinton was considering retaining the attorney general in her cabinet, and he argued that Lynch is trying to let Clinton “off the hook.”
Trump has seized on the FBI’s decision to review new information that may be pertinent to Clinton’s private email server — including by exaggerating the scope and seriousness of the new review — and his campaign is hoping the renewed focus on Clinton’s email issues will detract from Trump’s own alleged misdeeds, and buoy his campaign in the campaign’s final slog.
Trump also joked about the fact that the FBI’s investigation into disgraced ex-congressman Anthony Weiner is reportedly what led the agency to new information that may be pertinent to Clinton’s email server.
“We never thought we were going to say thank you to Anthony Weiner,” Trump said, noting that it’s possible some of Clinton’s deleted emails could have been captured on electronic devices shared by Weiner and his estranged wife Huma Abedin, one of Clinton’s top aides.
The couple recently separated after allegations that Weiner exchanged sexually explicit messages with an underage girl.
Trump has long derided Weiner as a “sleaze” and a “perv” and on Saturday questioned whether the relationship between the disgraced ex-congressman and Clinton’s top aide might have jeopardized the security of classified information.
By MJ Lee and Dan Merica in Fort Lauderdale and Jeremy Diamond in Las Vegas