Hillary Clinton is making the closing argument of her presidential campaign and last-minute decisions on which states to send surrogates and resources — all while launching a public relations counter-attack on FBI director James Comey.
From The Hill
Aside from fierce surrogate attacks on Comey, there’s little sign the Clinton campaign is changing its strategy since the FBI’s shocking news that it is looking at new emails related to its investigation of whether the former secretary of State improperly handled classified material.
Rather than battening down the hatches in more traditional battleground states, Clinton this week will take her campaign to Arizona, a red state that is a luxury for her in the race to 270 electoral votes.
It is one of scores of critical decisions the campaign faces as polls show a tightening race one week before Election Day.
It’s an incredible end to an unpredictable campaign that has added a layer of deep suspense to a race that Democrats were feeling much more comfortable with just days ago.
With the clock running out and the media’s attention on the FBI decision, Clinton has to thread the needle of making the final sale—even as smoke from the scandal looms.
Each day since news of the story broke on Friday, she has had to stray from her final pitch. Republican nominee Donald Trump, meanwhile, has seized on the issue as his closing message — which is focused on convincing voters they should vote for change on Nov. 8.
The Clinton campaign is advising surrogates to hit back hard at the FBI.
According to campaign talking points obtained by The Hill, supporters are being told to question Comey’s competency by arguing that he “hadn’t even reviewed the material before he started this whole confounding situation.”
They’ll allege an “abuse of protocol,” noting that Comey moved forward against the wishes of the Justice Department and that anonymous sources within the FBI leaked embarrassing details about the investigation to the press.
Democrats will point to the cascading criticism from law enforcement experts, like former Attorney General Eric Holder, who have said Comey’s actions break with decades of precedent in which the DOJ goes out of its way not to influence the election.
And they’ll question why the FBI hasn’t released any details about its investigation into cyber-attacks, believed to be carried out by the Russians, against Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.
Following Sen. Harry Reid’s lead, the Clinton campaign will allege that the email hacks had “possible connections to the Trump campaign.”
Clinton herself is not attacking the FBI head-on, though she is raising questions about it to her supporters.
“I’m sure a lot of you may be asking what this new email story is about, and why in the world the FBI would decide to jump into an election with no evidence of wrong-doing with just days to go,” Clinton said at a rally at Kent State University in Ohio on Monday. “That’s a good question.”
After signaling that she is fine with the FBI looking into the emails even while insisting they will find no case, she returned to her main argument: that Trump is unfit for the White House.
Longtime Clinton advisers and surrogates say that’s what she needs to do.
Read Full Story At The Hill