President-elect Donald Trump will not push for further investigation of Hillary Clinton related to her private email use and the Clinton Foundation, a close adviser said Tuesday, breaking with a key campaign theme.
Trump triggered consternation â€” and widespread condemnation â€” when he made an unprecedented campaign threat to jail his Democratic rival should he win the White House.
The Republican made Clintonâ€™s email scandal and allegations of pay-to-play at her family foundation a core theme of his campaign, railing against her â€œcrimesâ€ and leading fired-up supporters in chants of â€œLock her Up!â€
But since his election he has deflected questioning on the subject, saying in an interview he would think about it, but had other priorities as incoming head of state.
â€œI think when the president-electâ€¦ tells you before heâ€™s even inaugurated that he doesnâ€™t wish to pursue these charges, it sends a very strong message, tone, and contentâ€ to fellow Republicans, Trump aide Kellyanne Conway said in an interview on MSNBCâ€™s â€œMorning Joe.â€
During their second presidential debate in October, Trump told Clinton he would instruct his attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into her email practices when secretary of state.
Clinton responded: â€œitâ€™s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.â€
Trump then quipped: â€œBecause youâ€™d be in jail.â€
Conway told CNN that Clinton â€œstill has to face the fact a majority of Americans donâ€™t find her to be honest or trustworthy.â€
â€œIf Donald Trump can help her heal, perhaps thatâ€™s a good thing,â€ she added.
â€œHeâ€™s thinking of many different things as he prepares to become the president of the United States, and things that sound like the campaign arenâ€™t among them.â€
Clinton has attributed her loss to the bombshell decision by FBI director James Comey to re-open the probe into her use of a private email server, less than two weeks before the vote.
In a call with donors, she claimed that two letters Comey sent to Congress â€” re-opening the probe and closing it again after finding no new evidence of wrongdoing â€” had tilted crucial states towards her Republican rival.
Comeyâ€™s second letter, sent three days before the election, stated that the FBI had not changed its July recommendation not to charge Clinton.