Trump sees ‘constitutional crisis’ if Clinton elected

Jonathan Oosting, and Chad Livengood
The Detroit News

Walker — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton could be under a protracted federal investigation that would cause government gridlock and make the United States the laughing stock of other world leaders, including Vladimir Putin of Russia, Republican rival Donald Trump said Monday.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Trump seized on Friday’s revelation the Federal Bureau of Investigation is reviewing new emails that “appear pertinent” to the agency’s probe of the private email server she used as secretary of state.

“I’m now convinced that we will be facing the very real possibility of a constitutional crisis with many dimensions and deleterious … consequences should Secretary Clinton win the election,” he said.

With eight days until the presidential election, Trump is hammering Clinton over the FBI probe as he seeks to overcome polling deficits in Michigan and other states he will need to win to capture the White House.

“I can tell you, your cars will continue to leave Michigan,” Trump told a crowd of thousands at the DeltaPlex near Grand Rapids, suggesting Clinton could even go to trial. “Nothing’s going to get done. Our country will continue to suffer. She’s unfit to be president of the United States.”

The agency is reviewing new emails captured as part of an unrelated investigation into former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of a top Clinton staffer who gained national notoriety for sending lewd pictures of himself to other women.

“Thank you Anthony Weiner,” Trump said to laughs, stoking a rambunctious crowd that broke into “lock her up” chants on multiple occasions.

FBI Director James Comey said in July that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case against Clinton over the email server, but criticized the Democratic candidate and her staff as “extremely careless” with classified materials. He said Friday the FBI “cannot yet assess whether or not this (new) material may be significant.”

The Clinton campaign has called on the FBI to release more information about the emails to avoid what Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine called a “big question mark” in the run-up to the Nov. 8 election.

Clinton pushed back against the email controversy Monday in an Ohio speech, telling supporters she is sure many of them are asking “why in the world the FBI would decide to jump into an election with no evidence of any wrongdoing with just days to go.”

The former first lady and U.S. senator reiterated that it was a mistake to use a personal email server as secretary of state and said the FBI should look at her staffer’s emails.

“I am sure they will reach the same conclusion they did when they looked at my emails for the last year: There is no case here,” Clinton said.

The Trump campaign intends to send more surrogates to Michigan in a bid to win its 16 electoral votes. Trump's grown children Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka will be visiting Michigan Wednesday; GOP vice presidential nominee Mike_Pence Thursday and Eric Trump on Friday, a Trump spokesman said before the businessman's Warren speech.

Trump: Jobs ‘nightmare’ will end

As he has done during prior visits, Trump painted a bleak picture of the Michigan economy that contradicts the “comeback state” mantra of Gov. Rick Snyder and other local Republicans, who note Michigan has gained jobs since massive losses in the Great Recession.

“When I win on Nov. 8, I am going to bring your jobs back to America,” Trump said. “The long nightmare of jobs leaving Michigan will be coming to a very rapid end. We’re going to make Michigan the economic envy of the entire world once again.”

The New York businessman has wooed blue-collar workers with his attacks on the North American Free Trade Agreement and his opposition to the not-yet ratified Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade deal involving Asian nations he claimed would “destroy what’s left of manufacturing in Michigan.”

Clinton supported the TPP in concept but now opposes it in its final negotiated form. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, signed NAFTA into law in 1993.

Trump also renewed his call for a 35 percent tariff on products from companies that relocate jobs to Mexico, criticizing Ford Motor Co. for plans to shift small car production south of the border, a move the automaker says will not cost jobs in Michigan or the United States.

He also touted his recently unveiled “urban renewal” proposals, saying he would help cities like Detroit and Flint rebuild.

“It used to be cars were made in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico,” Trump said, repeating a line he has offered here before. “Now the cars are made in Mexico and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”

U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak and a Clinton supporter, attacked Trump as a divisive candidate.

“There have been lawsuits filed by workers against Donald Trump because they weren’t paid at all, or they weren’t paid correctly, or they weren’t paid overtime," Levin said in a statement. "So here you have Donald Trump saying that he cares about workers, when his whole career has shown the opposite,”

Coming home for Trump?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak to a campaign rally, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Trump was joined in west Michigan by former Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight, who interrupted the businessman’s speech to tell the crowd that in a Trump administration, “there will be no bull----.”

Peter Secchia, a former ambassador to Italy, offered a similarly succinct message to Republicans like 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney who have not backed Trump with a little more than a week to go before the Nov. 8 election: “Shut up.”

Secchia fired up the crowd ahead of Trump’s speech in west Michigan, a traditional Republican stronghold where Trump will need to do well if he wants to win the state, which Democratic presidential candidates have swept since 1992.

Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel should drop “Romney” from her name because her uncle is not supporting Donald Trump for president, Secchia said.

Congressman Bill Huizenga, who had pledged to support the GOP nominee but not forcefully before Monday, took the stage shortly before Secchia and urged his fellow west Michigan Republicans to rally behind the New York businessman.

“We know there’s a better way out there,” said Huizenga, R-Zeeland. “We know that working with a Republican House and Senate and Donald Trump in the White House will be a formula for success. We will be able to change things.”

Huizenga has criticized some Trump comments and acknowledged the brash businessman may still have work to do to “bring home” conservatives on the west side of the state.

“I think that’s why he’s here today – to make sure he’s giving those more traditional Republicans a reason to come out and vote for him,” the third-term congressman said.

Most Michigan Republicans in Congress have now backed Trump, leaving U.S. Reps. Justin Amash of Cascade Township and Fred Upton of St. Joseph as the only holdouts.

“Everybody’s got to make their own decisions,” Huizenga said. “I know for me this is the right decision because of the implications for the country. It seems to me that it’s not just a blind allegiance, but I have chosen a philosophy that’s represented by Republicans, and I want to support that.”

Romney McDaniel was among the early speakers at the Halloween day rally, asking supporters if they could think of “anything scarier” than four years of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the White House.

“We’re so glad to have a Romney,” Trump state campaign director Scott Hagerstrom said.

Trump offers Republicans the best chance to win Michigan since 2004, when Democratic nominee John Kerry won the state by fewer than four percentage points, said west Michigan GOP consultant John Yob.

“Donald Trump had momentum, not just in Michigan, but across the country prior to the FBI information coming out,” Yob said. “Now that the people of Michigan know that vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for the president of the United States being under investigation, it seems to me that’s going to be moving numbers in Donald Trump’s direction.”

Fans line up for Trump

Fans who lined up early for Trump’s speech in Grand Rapids spoke out against political corruption and spoke up for change, echoing rallying cries the real estate developer is attempting to hammer home in the final days of the election.

“Corruption’s been screwing over the country for so long, and I don’t want to see my future ruined by another do-nothing politician,” said Ben Isyk of Holland, an 18-year-old who will be voting for Trump in his first presidential election. “He’s running against the most corrupt person who has ever run for office.”

Like Trump, his supporters were quick to jump on the news that the FBI is reviewing new emails that may be pertinent to its probe of the private email server Clinton used as secretary of state.

“She is nothing but a liar,” said Rick LeQuia of Byron Center, a 73-year-old retiree who spends his winters in Florida but returned to Michigan for Monday’s Trump rally. “It’s unreal. I can’t believe how crooked they are.”

LeQuia said he has been a Democrat his entire life and voted for President Barack Obama, but Trump won him over during one of his three televised debates with Clinton.

“I’m all for what he wants to do,” LeQuia said of Trump. “I mean, I want a wall. I want them (undocumented Mexican immigrants) left out. I’m sorry, we’re hurting as it is. This country has gone down the tubes.”

Trump was scheduled to speak in Warren later Monday, and his campaign expects other surrogates will be in Michigan to stump for the Republican in coming days.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that Michigan is one of three traditionally blue states the Trump campaign will heavily target in the final days of the election.

“To have him here fighting for every Michigan vote, to talk about issues that Michiganders care about — the economy, fair trade, Obamacare — that’s the type of attention we deserve,” said Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel.

For Republicans still on the fence about the brash businessman, Friday’s announcement by the FBI “gives them another reason to come home to Donald Trump,” she said, “and I think it gives independents the opportunity to take a second look and say, you know what, we can’t put another corrupt Clinton in the White House.”

Clinton has led Trump in all recent Michigan polls, but her campaign is not taking the state for granted after her surprising loss here in the March primary.

Singer and actress Cher was scheduled to campaign for Clinton on Monday in Kalamazoo, East Lansing and Flint.

Trump has faced his own challenges in what has been a wild month in the presidential race, including the release of 2005 recordings in which he described groping women and suggested he could get away with such lewd behavior because of his celebrity.

But supporters maintain that the non-politician would bring a fresh perspective to Washington D.C.

“I wish he’d talk a little bit more about what he is going to do for our country, because if we don’t get this straightened out our children or grandchildren will never ever know what this country was all about,” said Bonnie Keller, a Grand Rapids realtor attending her first Trump rally.

Keller said she was “disappointed” by women who say they are voting for Clinton because she’d be the first female president.

“I have never felt that way,” she said. “I want the best person to be president. And Hillary Clinton, of all women, is the very worst.”