Presidential

At GOP urging, Trump turns focus on Clinton emails, 'short circuit' explanation

More American voters view Clinton unfavorably (55 percent) than favorably (44 percent) and only 36 percent have a positive opinion of Trump, while 63 percent feel the opposite.

 

Donald Trump this weekend pounced on Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and her continuing efforts to fully explain her culpability, amid Republicans and other supporters now repeatedly urging him to stick with his likely best winning strategy.

“The more the they talk about the emails the worse it gets,” David Morey, of the international strategy firm DMG Global, on Saturday told Fox News’ “America’s News Headquarters.”

Last weekend, Clinton told “Fox News Sunday” that FBI Director James Comey said that she was “truthful” to the American public about her use of a private email server while secretary of state -- a statement critics of the Democratic presidential nominee quickly disputed.

However, Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, didn’t appear to fully engage on the issue until Friday night, after Clinton, in a press conference, suggested she “short circuited” her remarks Sunday and was in fact saying Comey acknowledged her being truthful with the FBI during the agency’s investigation into the email issue.

At a rally Friday night in Wisconsin, after Clinton’s remarks earlier that day at a National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists gathering, Trump called Clinton “unbalanced” and “unhinged.”

“She's a monster, look at what's happened, look at her history,” Trump said at a rally in Green Bay. “In another way, she's a weak person. She's actually not strong enough to be president."

Clinton continues to say there was no classified information in official emails either sent or received on the private server, despite Comey saying parts of three emails indeed included classified material.

On Saturday morning, Trump turned to Twitter, a favorite means for his largely unfiltered attacks.

“Crooked Hillary said loudly, and for the world to see, that she "SHORT CIRCUITED" when answering a question on her e-mails. Very dangerous!” he tweeted, then said in a follow-up tweet: "Anybody whose mind "SHORT CIRCUITS" is not fit to be our president! Look up the word "BRAINWASHED."

Trump and Clinton each have some of the lowest ratings on likeability and trustworthiness in the history of U.S. presidential elections.

Ian Prior, a spokesman for the conservative-leaning PAC American Crossroads, told Fox’s AEHQ that Trump should stick with four issues -- the economy, immigration, national security and Clinton and keep the candidate from “getting into fights.”

To be sure, Trump has perhaps had the worst week of the presidential election cycle -- after getting into an exchange with the Muslim lawyer and father of an Army captain killing in Iraq who attacked Trump at the Democratic National Convention.

Republican strategist Rob Carter said Trump focusing on Clinton "would be a huge benefit not only to the Trump campaign but to the Republican Party as a whole. Untrustworthy and unable to maintain national security, those are issues that Republicans will always care deeply about."

Trump, who dropped in several polls in his race with Clinton, also withheld his endorsement for House Speaker Paul Ryan who is seeking reelection, causing further distractions.

“I’m not quite there yet,” Trump said before endorsing the Ryan, R-Wisc., on Friday, using words similar to Ryan’s when he delayed endorsing Trump earlier this year.

Ryan said Thursday on WTAG radio in Wisconsin that Trump has had "a pretty strange run since the convention. You would think that we want to be focusing on Hillary Clinton, on all of her deficiencies. She is such a weak candidate that one would think that we would be on offense against Hillary Clinton, and it is distressing that that’s not what we’re talking about these days.”