Following the latest FBI developments in Hillary Clinton’s email probe, Donald Trump ripped the Justice Department and top Clinton aide Huma Abedin on Saturday, firing off a tirade during his triumphant swing through western states.
“It’s reported today, this morning that the Department of Justice was fighting the FBI,” Trump said in Golden, Colorado. “And that’s because the Department of Justice is trying so hard to protect Hillary.”
Trump was referencing reports that Attorney General Loretta Lynch recommended that FBI Director James Comey not publicly disclose the new emails -- what the Justice Department viewed as a violation of its long-standing practice not to comment on ongoing investigations.
“There are those, and I happen to be one of them, who think Hillary offered Loretta Lynch a reappointment as attorney general. I happen to be one of them,” Trump said.
Offering no proof, the Republican nominee posited that Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, had bribed Lynch with the position when the two had an impromptu meeting earlier this summer on a plane in Arizona. The two met just days before the FBI completed its probe into the private email server.
“Perhaps, just perhaps, of course he said he only talked about golf and the grandchildren, but he was on the plane for 39 minutes, he went to Arizona, an unbelievable place, but there are those who think when he went onto the plane that’s what he discussed just prior to a decision being made,” Trump said.
The New York real estate mogul then trained his biting attacks on Abedin and her husband, former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner. The emails tied to the Clinton probe were found on the separated couple’s electronic devices from a separate FBI investigation into Weiner’s sexting scandal.
“Did I call him correctly, did anybody see?” Trump asked, pointing to his prior criticisms of Weiner. “It’s called good judgement, it’s called good instincts. If you check out the tweets, or if you check out whatever it is I wrote about him, it is so perfect, I said. And that was done a long time ago, but they found, by looking at Anthony Weiner, a major, major, major sleaze, they found what may be some of the 33,000 missing and deleted emails.”
Trump has, in the past, wondered whether Abedin was a national security concern because of her relationship to Weiner.
“[Abedin’s] receiving very, very important information and giving it to Hillary. Who else is she giving it to?” Trump said back in August. “Her husband has serious problems and on top of that, he now works for a public relations firm...So how can she be married to this guy who’s got these major problems? She’s getting her most important information, it could be, in the world. Who knows what he’s going to do with it? Forget about her.”
Trump’s speculation on what the newly surfaced emails contained, however, remains unfounded. The FBI has yet to release any further details about the information found in the emails.
Clinton’s campaign, in the meantime, has defended Abedin, with campaign chair John Podesta telling reporters on a conference call that the staff stands behind her.
“There’s no evidence of wrongdoing, no charge of wrongdoing, no indication that this was even about Hillary,” Podesta said Saturday. He added that Comey’s letter to top Republicans in the House and Senate was “long on innuendo and short on facts.”
Podesta added that Comey knew “full well what Republicans in Congress would do with it” and blasted House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, in particular for taking “the opportunity to distort the facts.”
CBS News’ Hannah Fraser-Chanpong contributed to this report.