In between “Lock her up!” chants from the crowd, Donald Trump ramped up his rhetoric at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Thursday afternoon, painting Hillary Clinton as lying, corrupt, and running the State Department as a criminal enterprise.
“Hillary Clinton’s actions constitute all of the elements of a major criminal enterprise,” he told the crowd.
Trump has accused Clinton of criminality for weeks, in a series of unusually direct and unreserved attacks by a major party nominee. But Thursday’s speech was a more comprehensive indictment that linked five separate lines of attack: Clinton’s meeting with Clinton Foundation donors as secretary of state, her use of a private email server, her speeches to Wall Street, the Benghazi attack, and Trump’s claims that the November election is rigged.
Trump began his indictment of Clinton by describing himself as self-funded and painting Clinton as in the pocket of Wall Street. He noted that Clinton was paid for speeches at Wall Street banks after she finished her tenure as secretary of state.
“In this fight, we are taking on some very entrenched and well-financed interests. Money is pouring into her campaign,” Trump said, referring to Clinton. “These are the same people who pay Hillary $10,000 dollars a minute for a speech.”
“These are the Wall Street firms who paid Hillary Clinton a quarter of a million dollars each time she delivered her secret remarks,” he added.
Over the past week, Trump has latched onto newly released emails showing that the foundation asked for Clinton to meet with prominent foundation donors while she was secretary of state. During his Thursday speech, Trump used his harshest rhetoric yet to describe the reports on Clinton’s meetings as secretary of state, called her a criminal.
“The voters have always known that our leadership in Washington D.C. is corrupt, and that the system is very badly rigged,” he said in New Hampshire. “But this week the curtain was truly lifted. The corruption was revealed for all to see. The veil was pulled back on a vast criminal enterprise run out of the State Department by Hillary Clinton.”
Trump said that Clinton Foundation donors “are people that want things for their donation.”
He said that Clinton “ran the State Department like a personal hedge fund.”
“It is hard to tell where the Clinton Foundation ends, and where the State Department begins,” he said. “Access and favors were sold for cash. It’s called Pay-For-Play.”
Trump listed the entities he claims received favorable treatment from Clinton at the State Department:
The examples are too many to name here in full, and I’ve gone over some in recent days. They include the deal to sell 20 percent of U.S. Uranium to Russia, or the favorable treatment for UBS. … It includes the exemption of Telecom Giant Ericsson from government sanctions. It includes efforts to put a Foundation donor – with no national security experience at all – onto a highly-sensitive national security panel with access to top secret information. It includes Foundation donors getting lucrative contracts in Haiti – all while the people of Haiti suffered horribly.
Trump also claimed that Clinton used her position at the State Department to help her family financially. While alleging that Clinton did favors for foundation donors, Trump said that Clinton’s dealings at the State Department helped her husband.
“Bill Clinton’s total speaking fees rose 44 percent while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State – often raking in money from people who had business or matters before the State Department,” Trump said.
The main narrative Trump has used throughout the campaign to attack Clinton as corrupt is Clinton’s decision to use a private email server while she worked for the State Department. The Republican nominee touched on this during his speech on Thursday.
“She created a private illegal email server in order to hide her corrupt dealings. She did so knowing full well it would put American lives at risk by making classified information highly vulnerable to foreign hacking,” he said, adding that she deleted emails from the server to “cover up her crime.”
He accused Clinton of deleting emails to hide the fact that she “sold her office to corporations and foreign governments.”
Trump also claimed that Clinton lied about her private email server to cover up her corruption.
“As a further element of the criminal cover-up, she claimed under penalty of perjury that she turned over all of her work related emails. We now know this to be one more massive Clinton lie and deception,” he said on Thursday. “The FBI found thousands of work-related emails she failed to turn over, including the new discovery this week of 15,000 more work-related emails she did not disclose.”