Trump targets Democratic states with Clinton on defensive

President-Elect Donald Trump

Donald Trump is campaigning in traditionally Democratic states after the recent discovery of more emails which may be relevant to the FBI’s investigation of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s private system.

Mrs Clinton enters the final full week of the presidential race on the defensive once again as she prepares to campaign across Ohio.

The former US secretary of state vowed over the weekend that she would not be “knocked off course” in the election’s final days by the discovery of new emails in an unrelated sexting investigation.

It is unclear what is contained in the emails or if any of them were sent or received by Mrs Clinton herself.

“I’m not stopping now, we’re just getting warmed up,” the Democratic hopeful declared during a packed rally with gay and lesbian supporters in the battleground state of Florida on Sunday.

“We’re not going to be distracted, no matter what our opponents throw at us.”

Republican candidate Mr Trump, who had been trailing Mrs Clinton nationally and across key battleground states, campaigned with new vigour over the weekend as he seized on the news in an effort to boost his struggling candidacy.

Mr Trump is heading to Michigan for a pair of rallies in a state which last voted for the Republican presidential nominee in 1988 – George HW Bush.

“The polls have come out and they have been amazing, even before the big blow-up on Friday,” Mr Trump told a crowd of thousands packed into an airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico – another traditionally Democratic state which Mr Trump believes he can win.

“Traditionally, you understand, Republicans aren’t quite there, right?” Trump told the crowd. “But this is a Republican who is there, and we’re going to win this thing.”

Mrs Clinton’s advisers and fellow Democrats, furious over the vague letter sent by FBI Director James Comey to US Congress on Friday, have been pressuring him to release more details about the emails, including whether Mr Comey had even reviewed them himself.

The emails were found on a computer which appears to belong to disgraced former New York representative Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, one of Mrs Clinton’s closest advisers.

Former US attorney general Eric Holder, who has been featured in an ad for the Clinton campaign, described Mr Comey’s actions as “deeply troubling” and a violation of “long-standing Justice Department policies and tradition”.

A law enforcement official confirmed on Sunday that investigators had obtained a search warrant to begin the review of Ms Abedin’s emails on Mr Weiner’s computer.

Tim Kaine, Mrs Clinton’s running mate, said Mr Comey owed it to the public to be more forthcoming about the emails under review by the FBI with the days ticking down to the November 8 election.

Calling Mr Comey’s announcement “extremely puzzling”, Mr Kaine said that if Mr Comey “hasn’t seen the emails, I mean, they need to make that completely plain”.

Mr Comey’s actions have energised Mr Trump after polls had shown him sliding, and unnerved Democrats already worried about the presidency and congressional races lower down on the ballot.

In a letter to US Congress on Friday, Mr Comey said the FBI had recently come upon new emails while pursuing an unrelated case and was reviewing whether they were classified.

Federal authorities in New York and North Carolina are investigating online communications between Mr Weiner and a 15-year-old girl.

FBI investigators in the Weiner sexting probe are thought to have known for weeks about the existence of the emails which might be relevant to the Clinton email investigation.

Mr Comey said he was briefed on Thursday about that development and told Congress that investigators had found the emails. A second law enforcement official also said the FBI was aware for a period of time about the emails before Mr Comey was briefed.

Mr Trump has praised the FBI chief for his decision, declaring that he believes justice will finally be served.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Mr Comey was in “an impossible spot” when he acknowledged the FBI was looking into the messages.

“Had he sat on the information, one can argue that he also would be interfering in the election,” Ms Conway said.

The controversy over Mrs Clinton’s email practices while she served as US secretary of state has dogged her for more than a year.

Meanwhile, the campaigns continued their early voting push, with Democrats claiming an edge in Nevada and Colorado.

New reports from the weekend found that more than 20 million voters have already cast ballots.

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