Live

Watch CBSN Live

Trump excoriates Clinton in Raleigh

Trump unleashes on Clinton over FBI decision, praises Saddam Hussein
Trump unleashes on Clinton over FBI decision,... 02:31

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump seemed gleeful at a raucous rally in Raleigh, North Carolina on Tuesday.

"I was watching this tragedy that took place today and over the last few days," Trump said. "It's a tragedy because we're a country of law. Other people have been so badly hurt by doing things so much less than crooked Hillary Clinton. So much less. So much less."

The crowd of almost 3,000 concurred. Trump was consistently interrupted by hooting and hollering. The warm reception was likely welcome after days of negative press for a tweet from his account that was widely perceived to be anti-Semitic.

Trump Praises Hussein 00:49

One man yelled, "Hang that [expletive]," in reference to Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, as Trump's opening act, senior adviser Stephen Miller was addressing the crowd.

Most of Trump's speech was focused on excoriating Clinton, hours after FBI director James Comey said that Clinton's private email server established for use during her tenure as Secretary of State was "extremely careless" but didn't warrant criminal charges. Comey also said that the FBI found, contrary to Clinton's previous claims, a number of emails that contained information classified at the time the emails were sent.

The presumptive GOP nominee mostly stayed on message, to the delight of the crowd and likely to the relief of weary Republicans, saying that Clinton went on an "Enron-style" purge of her email servers, referring to some deleted emails that were not turned over to the State Department. Enron was the financial giant that crashed in 2001 after it was engulfed in one of the biggest corporate scandals history.

"So, like a criminal with a guilty conscience, Clinton had her lawyers delete, destroy and wipe away forever," Trump said.

He also tweeted later in the evening about Clinton, saying, "I don't think the voters will forget the rigged system that allowed Crooked Hillary to get away with 'murder.'"

Trump leveled an accusation that Clinton tried to bribe Attorney General Loretta Lynch with the promise of keeping her in the cabinet if she gets elected.

"I mean that if she wins, she's going to consider extending the attorney general, and you know what? I'm not saying -- I'm not knocking the Attorney General," Trump said. "What I'm saying is, how can you say that?"

"The attorney general [is] sitting there saying, 'If I get Hillary off the hook, I'm going to have four more years or eight more years, but if she loses I'm out of a job.' It's a bribe. It's a disgrace."

Clinton has not said publicly that she would consider keeping Lynch in the post, but it has been reported that some of Clinton's aides have floated keeping Lynch on.

The blustery businessman saved some of his firepower for President Obama, too, who hit the campaign trail on Tuesday to stump for Clinton, albeit on an awkward day. Trump compared him to a "carnival act."

"We've got a person in the White House that's having a lot of fun, a lot of fun," Trump said. "I watched him today. It's like a carnival act. Lot of fun, moving around.

"We need a president who's going to bring us back. We need a president that's not going be divisive. We need a president that's going to take care of the African-American community."

The rally was at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, a smaller, more intimate setting than Trump is usually used to. Some of the crowd inside the theater, before Trump took the stage, sent derisive chants at the media covering the speech.

"Tell the truth!" became a common refrain among Trump supporters in Raleigh. The truth was something out of reach for someone like Clinton, Trump charged, as he continued hammering away on Clinton in an interview with Fox News.

"She made great mistakes and it sounded to me like there was no choice but to convict, or to go to, you know, some form of very harsh punishment," Trump told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in a phone interview. The FBI has no power to convict anyone -- it is an investigative body and not a jury.

In that same interview, Trump declined to say whether he would fire Comey or Lynch upon taking office, calling it "inappropriate" to comment.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue