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Trump promises to return jobs to Michigan, criticizes Clinton

Former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight introduces

Former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight introduces Donald Trump at a campaign rally at the Deltaplex Arena on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. in Grand Rapids, Mich. Credit: Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

WARREN, Mich. — Donald Trump entered the final stretch of his campaign Monday by coupling a promise to return jobs to a region rocked by the auto industry’s restructuring with criticism of what he said were Hillary Clinton’s corrupt practices while secretary of state.

“Hillary Clinton is a dishonest person,” the Republican presidential nominee told a roaring crowd of supporters at Macomb Community College, adding, “She’s likely to be under investigation for criminality for a long time to come.”

Trump reveled in Clinton’s facing of renewed controversy over her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Surprising both campaigns just days before the election, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress on Friday saying he had found a new batch of emails connected to Clinton and would be reviewing them for classified information.

Comey had closed the case into her private server in July without recommending criminal charges and in the letter said he does not know whether the new material is “significant.” But Trump and other critics of the Democratic nominee have characterized the action as a “reopening” of the investigation.

The new emails were found a computer seized during an FBI probe into the sexting of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose estranged wife, Huma Abedin, is a top Clinton aide.

“Thank you, Huma,” Trump said. “Thank you, Anthony. I never liked you, but thank you very much.”

The candidate also lamented that many auto plants had left the country, some of them “sucked into Mexico.”

He made similar remarks, vowing a reversal of job flight, earlier Monday in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“The long nightmare of jobs leaving Michigan will be coming to an end,” he said there. “We will make Michigan the economic envy of the world once again.”

Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, were scheduled to deliver remarks Tuesday morning in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, about the increased premiums and other criticisms of the so-called Obamacare health care plan.

Polls taken before the FBI’s review was announced Friday showed Clinton was several points ahead of Trump in Michigan — a GOP presidential nominee hasn’t won the state since 1988 — but Trump’s senior campaign adviser, Jason Miller, told WABC-AM radio host Rita Cosby on Friday that his internal polls show a “dead heat” in the state.

Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), was in Warren Sunday, speaking to a carpenters’ and millworkers’ union.

Both campaigns have visited the bellwether county because the many independents here are torn between the Democratic and Republican parties, said Marjorie Sarbaugh-Thompson, a Wayne State University political science professor.

“Macomb County is the heart of blue-collar autoworkers, and so you have the tension between the anti-trade rhetoric for the Trump campaign, and the fact that Obama and the Democratic Party bailed out the auto industry,” she said.

At Trump’s Warren rally, Terry Bowman, co-chairman of Trump’s Michigan campaign and a 20-year employee of Ford Motor Company, also underscored the importance of independents and ticket-splitters by calling the area “home of the Reagan Democrats and soon-to-be the Trump Democrats.”

Bowman appealed to union employees to break from labor leaders and support Trump over Clinton.

Dave Cross, 46, a mechanic from Algonac, Michigan, said he is drawn to Trump’s protectionist policies because he has witnessed a dramatic quality-of-life decline for autoworkers.

“If you worked for the Big Three — GM, Ford and Chrysler — you made good money, you had good health care and everything you needed to raise a family,” he said. “It’s different now.”

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