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Clinton plays it cool as email cloud lifts

In Ohio, Hillary Clinton did not mention Comey or her emails at a “get out the vote” rally in Cleveland with baskeball superstar LeBron James. | Getty

The Democratic nominee’s team delivers a clear message after Comey again clears Clinton: moving on, case closed.

Updated

CLEVELAND — Hillary Clinton’s top campaign officials didn’t expect to hear from the FBI again before Election Day. They thought they would simply slog on with the threat of a potential new investigation hanging over them.

But when FBI Director James Comey on Sunday handed them a giant reprieve — writing to Congress that the bureau had not altered its July conclusion that the former secretary of state did not intentionally mishandle classified information on her private email server — there was no crowing.

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Instead, the Clinton campaign greeted the news break, at least outwardly, with little more than a “told ya so” shrug.

Campaign manager Jennifer Palmieri delivered a 30-second statement to reporters flying aboard the campaign plane between Philadelphia and Cleveland — and basically rushed through her obligatory Comey remarks to the more positive headline.

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“We’re glad that this matter is resolved,” Palmieri said, before adding: “I have one other thing to tell you: We are adding a guest to our rally tomorrow night in Philadelphia.” Palmieri, a die-hard Bruce Springsteen fan, announced with glee that The Boss would be joining the Clintons and the Obamas at a rally in Philadelphia on Monday. (Palmieri declined to answer questions on the Comey matter.)

Press Secretary Brian Fallon tweeted that “we were always confident nothing would cause the July decision to be revisited. Now Director Comey has confirmed it.”

The message was clear: moving on, case closed.

For her part, Clinton did not mention Comey or her emails at a “get out the vote” rally in Cleveland with local legend LeBron James.

“I want to really look at the faces of the people in front of me,” Clinton said. “I don’t know your dreams, I don’t know your struggles, but I want so much to convey to you that I will be on your side.”

She told her fans, “I will never, ever quit on you.”

But she appeared to take part in her own small act of personal defiance, showing that when it comes to her most politically damaged aides, she doesn’t plan to quit on them either.

Deboarding her plane in Cleveland, Clinton walked shoulder to shoulder with Cheryl Mills, her former State Department chief of staff who many in her campaign have faulted for advising Clinton to set up the private email server in the first place.

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Walking off her plane in the company of an aide was a rare move for Clinton, who typically deplanes alone (most of her traveling aides prefer to endure walking through the press cabin to use the less conspicuous exit at the back of the plane).

Mills’ presence on the trail, even without the very public exit from the front cabin, was a rare occurrence. The longtime Clinton ally has been ensnared in the email fiasco since day one, and kept a healthy distance from official campaign activities while remaining deeply involved behind the scenes. But her presence at Clinton’s side in the moment that the final chapter of the scandal — for now — reached its conclusion underscored the growing sense that Clinton, if elected, will continue to rely on the loyalists she wants, regardless of politics and appearances.

However, Huma Abedin, Clinton’s aide de camp whose estranged husband’s sexting scandal reignited the email controversy, remained off the campaign trail.

Source: POLITICO – TOP Stories

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