Presidential Primaries

Trump says he's filled convention speaker spots; tries to reverse slide, seize on Clinton's tough week

Senior adviser says Republican leaders need to do everything in their power to help them defeat Clinton

 

Donald Trump said Saturday that he’s filled all of the speaker slots for the fast-approaching Republican National Convention -- trying to capitalize on rival Hillary Clinton’s tough week and stop talk about key GOP figures distancing themselves from him and the event.

Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, said on Twitter that he’ll announce the lineup on Wednesday and that he has “a long waiting list of those that want to speak.”

Trump critics have for weeks kept a running tally of top Republicans not attending the four-day convention in Cleveland that starts July 18 -- from such standard-bearers as former President George W. Bush to New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who is in a tough re-election campaign.

Speaking on the convention stage is considered a coveted opportunity for politicians, especially for up-and-coming ones to raise their national profile. Barack Obama’s keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention, for example, helped him ascend from a freshman Illinois senator to president.

Dr. Ben Carson, a Trump primary rival, will reportedly speak at this year’s GOP convention. However, the Trump campaign has not confirmed such reports. And Trump shot down an earlier report that former boxing champion Mike Tyson would speak.

Trump is also expected to announce his running mate at the convention, but a news report earlier this week stated the announcement could come earlier.

Neither Trump nor Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, have scheduled campaign events over the Fourth of July weekend.

Clinton spoke Saturday morning to the FBI in Washington about the agency’s investigation into her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

She was in her Washington home and is expected to spend the rest of the weekend in the family’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

Her rough week started when top aide Huma Abedin had a six-hour deposition Tuesday with the conservative group Judicial Watch about Clinton’s use of the server and private email address for government communication while they both were at the State Department.

While the court-ordered deposition didn’t result in any ground break revelations, Abedin acknowledging the setup “frustrated” her and that a “hack” on the system was attempted sidetracked the Clinton campaign’s attacks on Trump.  

"Judicial Watch represents everything that is wrong with our political system,” Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told FoxNews.com on Wednesday. “They are only interested in headlines and have made a complete mockery of our (judicial) system.”

Then on Thursday, Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, added to the larger controversy when he initiated an impromptu meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who decides whether to prosecute the server case based on the recommendations of career federal prosecutors and the FBI director.

Lynch, appointed by Obama, who backs Clinton’s White House bid, has said she’ll accept the recommendations of the agency officials.

Clinton, who has risen slightly in recent polls against Trump, has no scheduled events until Tuesday, when she attends an event in Washington, then in North Carolina with Obama, their first together in the 2016 campaign.

Last year, Clinton caused a big flap over the Fourth weekend at a parade in key primary state New Hampshire when campaign staffers used a rope to keep reporters away from her.

Trump, a first-time candidate and billionaire businessman, struggled in June to gain GOP support in large part after suggesting a judge in a civil suit against his Trump University real estate school might be bias, considering Trump has proposed building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and the judge’s parents are from Mexico.

Trump’s next scheduled event is Wednesday in Cincinnati.