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House Republicans look to e-nail Clinton; Lynch closes case

Hillary Clinton, at a rally on the boardwalk

Hillary Clinton, at a rally on the boardwalk in front of the shuttered Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, N.J., on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, criticized Donald Trump's business practices. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jessica Kourkounis

FW: Clinton email scandal

Republicans on Capitol Hill aren’t leaving it to Donald Trump to make the political case against Hillary Clinton for what the FBI found to be “extremely careless” — but not criminal — email practices while secretary of state.

They’ll cross their fingers that Trump won’t, as is his wont, generate a new, distracting controversy Thursday when FBI Director James Comey answers a summons to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch — who Wednesday followed Comey’s lead and closed the email investigation — has been called to testify next week before the House Judiciary Committee.

Expect skeptical questioning about that “social” meeting on an airport tarmac last week with former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said Republicans are “launching yet another taxpayer-funded sham of an inquiry” after ending Benghazi probes that “turned up nothing new.”

Cleanup in aisle T

Even as House Speaker Paul Ryan was mobilizing the House GOP to hammer Clinton on emails, he had to yet again separate himself from comments by Trump, who told a rally Tuesday night about a brighter side to the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

While a “bad guy,” Trump said, “he killed terrorists. He did that so good.”

Asked on Fox News about the comments shortly afterward, Ryan appeared taken aback.

“He was one of the 20th century’s most evil people,” Ryan said of Saddam.

The take-away: Multiple choice

With both Trump and Clinton scoring low in voter favorability, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein stand to get a closer look, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison. They are still unknown to a majority of voters, according to a recent USA Today poll.

Scene of the bankruptcies

Clinton stood in front of the abandoned remains of the Trump Plaza hotel and casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, portraying it as a testament to Trump’s record as a bad businessman who only cares about making himself rich.

“When this casino collapsed because of how badly he managed it, hundreds of people lost their jobs, shareholders were wiped out, lenders lost most, contractors — many of them small businesses — took heavy losses and many themselves went bust,” Clinton said.

New Trump-de Blasio burlesque

Back in January, conservative allies of Trump primary rival Ted Cruz noted in a commercial the positive things that the New York billionaire had said about then-incoming Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio, a self-proclaimed progressive and target of the right.

Here's one quote from Trump in 2013: "I think pretty strongly that he'll end up being a good mayor, maybe a very good mayor... I think he's going to want to make New York great."

But that proved as perishable as many other Trump declarations.

By March, for example, de Blasio said Trump uses racism "as a strategic tool."So on Thursday, the New York Post dutifully recorded the candidate's remarks that de Blasio is "one of the most incompetent men. He's the single worst mayor in the history of New York City." 

The Post piece made it seem Trump's biggest objection to de Blasio focused on himself. After completing a bogged-down golf-course project in the Bronx, Trump reportedly said, "I never got a note of congratulations from this maniac. I never got a thank-you letter... I saved the city's ass."

Newt for ... something

Is Trump going to choose Newt Gingrich as his running mate? He told the rally Wednesday night that “Newt Gingrich is going to be involved with our government,” adding shortly thereafter the caveat: “if I can get approval from his wife.”

“I’m not saying it’s Newt, but if it’s Newt, nobody’s gonna be beating him in those debates, that’s for sure,” Trump said.

Earlier, he told Fox News that his short list had actually gotten longer. “We have about 10 people, some names that haven’t surfaced yet,” he said.

Off the list is Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who told The Washington Post “I’m far more suited for other types of things.” Also apparently blowing off the Trump ticket search is Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, whom the candidate has met and talked up.

Son-in-law: ‘Careless’ tweeting

Trump son-in-law and close adviser Jared Kushner responded at length to an open letter from New York Observer writer Dana Schwartz, who accused the candidate and Kushner — the paper’s owner — of silence over anti-Semitism by some Trump supporters.

“My father in law is an incredibly loving and tolerant person who has embraced my family and our Judaism,” Kushner wrote. But he acknowledged: “The worst that his detractors can fairly say about him is that he has been careless in retweeting imagery that can be interpreted as offensive.”

The exchange was prompted by the instantly notorious “Star of David” tweet.

Trump: Tweet should have stayed

At a rally near Cincinnati, Trump spoke at length about the tweet, said those who thought it had a “Star of David” were “racially profiling” and he’s sorry it was taken down because “I would’ve rather defended it.”

It’s “just a star” and those who think otherwise are “sick people,” he said. “My son-in-law is Jewish. My daughter is Jewish. I have grandchildren that are Jewish, and I love them.”

What else is happening

  • Anti-Trump forces are getting closer to having enough support on a rules committee — they need 25% — to force a full convention vote on a proposal to free delegates to back whom they wish, The Wall Street Journal reports (pay site).
  • Trump’s New York point man, Carl Paladino, said a tweet under his name that said “Lynch @LorettaLynch” was an inadvertent error by an assistant, Newsday’s Michael Gormley reports.
  • A Baton Rouge police shooting had Clinton saying: "“Something is profoundly wrong when so many Americans have reason to believe that our country doesn’t consider them as precious as others because of the color of their skin.”
  • Trump’s fundraising picked up dramatically in June, but still trails far behind Clinton’s.
  • Eric Trump, in a call to a Washington Post reporter who finds few of his father’s personal charity-giving claims substantiated, said the total is in the “millions and millions and millions.” Why no details? “My father likes to keep some anonymity. It’s who he is.”
  • Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is the latest high-profile Republican to announce he is skipping the GOP convention.
  • Bernie Sanders was booed in a meeting with House Democrats who want him to end his campaign and endorse Clinton.
  • PolitiFact found 17 instances of Trump denying that he said something that he said.

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