‘Rigged': GOP Blasts FBI's Decision on Clinton Emails

Trump compared the decision on Clinton, his likely Democratic rival for the presidency, to one against retired Gen. David Petraeus

Donald Trump immediately charged that the country's political system was "rigged" when the FBI recommended on Tuesday that no charges be brought against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

"FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security," the presumptive Republican nominee tweeted. "No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem."

Trump was among the first to respond to the announcement Tuesday by the FBI Director James Comey. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has said she would accept the FBI's recommendation.

Trump compared the decision on Clinton, his likely Democratic rival for the presidency, to one against retired Gen. David Petraeus. To avoid felony charges, Petraeus last year pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified decision when he shared it with his former mistress.

"The system is rigged," Trump wrote. "General Petraeus got in trouble for far less. Very, very unfair! As usual, bad judgment."

Comey said in a press conference that "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring a case against Clinton, but called her practice of sending emails that contained classified information on a private server "extremely careless."

Any reasonable person should have known that an unclassified system was no place for the emails, he said.

The Republican speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, said that Comey's announcement defied explanation and called for more information about how the FBI came to its recommendation. 

"Declining to prosecute Secretary Clinton for recklessly mishandling and transmitting national security information will set a terrible precedent," Ryan said. "The findings of this investigation also make clear that Secretary Clinton misled the American people when she was confronted with her criminal actions."

President Obama joined Hillary Clinton for a North Carolina campaign rally on July 5, 2016. On the Republican side, speculation continued to grow over Donald Trump’s running mate pick.

Comey said there was no evidence that Clinton intentionally sent or received classified information on her personal server. Of the 30,000 emails that Clinton returned to the State Department, 110 of them have been found to contain information that was classified at the time, Comey said.  

"Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information," Comey said.

Clnton has maintained that she did not send any information that was marked classified.

The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, described Clinton's behavior as "gross negligence."

"Gross Negligence = blatant indifference to one's legal duty," Priebus tweeted. "Comey defined @HillaryClinton's actions as gross negligence in that presser."

Former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson told NBC News' Andrea Mitchell that he would advise Trump to stop referring to Clinton as "Crooked Hillary" and to focus instead on Comey's criticism.

"I think the thing to take away from this is that he was extremely critical of her judgment and stated that a high government official should know better," said Carson, a Trump supporter. "She was not only a high government official, she's the secretary of state and has been a senator twice. So the real question is, Are Americans willing to place everything in the hands of somebody with such poor judgment?"

Another former Republican presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, said Clinton's actions damaged national security, put lives at risk and was unbecoming of someone aspiring to the presidency. He predicted another Clinton scandal in time. 

"There is simply no excuse for Hillary Clinton's decision to set up a home-cooked email system which left sensitive and classified national security information vulnerable to theft and exploitation by America’s enemies," he said.

Democratic political adviser David Axelrod quickly challenged Trump's comparison of Clinton's use of a private server to Petraeus' actions.

"Petraeus comparison is flat out factually untrue," Axelrod tweeted. "Words like 'rigged' do a disservice to @FBI, Comey & country."

At a rally in Raleigh later Tuesday, Trump repeated his charge that the system was "rigged," and said that Clinton had put the country in danger. She was likely hacked, he said.

"Her judgment is horrible," Trump said, adding, "She will be such a lousy president, folks."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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