NOVI, Mich. — Donald Trump called on President Obama on Friday to refuse to pardon Hillary Clinton and her associates, even though they have not been charged with any crimes, let alone convicted of any crimes.
“Mr. President, will you pledge not to issue a pardon to Hillary Clinton and her co-conspirators for their many crimes against our country and against society itself?” Trump said to a cheering audience in this Detroit suburb on Friday evening.
He added: “No one is above the law.”
After Richard Nixon resigned in 1974, President Gerald Ford issued a full pardon for his involvement in the Watergate scandal, for which Nixon was never indicted.
In the days since his shaky debate performance, Trump has tried to shift focus to Clinton and the string of controversies that she has not been able to escape, including her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. While Clinton has been the focus of Trump’s scripted speeches at a handful of campaign rallies since the Monday debate, those comments have largely been overshadowed by Trump’s own controversies and comments made in interviews and on Twitter, including an ongoing attack on Alicia Machado, the 1996 Miss Universe who is campaigning for Clinton and has accused Trump of calling her "Miss Housekeeping" because she's Latina and "Miss Piggy" because she gained weight.
Trump did not mention Machado at the rally — but he did triumphantly announce that the Presidential Debate Commission agreed that there were problems with his audio at the debate. The commission released a one sentence statement on Friday afternoon that said there “were issues regarding Donald Trump’s audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall.” But Trump said that the commission announced that his “microphone was defective.”
“I mean, working that microphone was a hell of a lot more difficult than working crooked Hillary Clinton, that I can tell you,” Trump said. “… You know, when you have a situation like that, and you know it’s bad, and you think you have a hundred million people watching, what do you do? Stop the show? It was bad. I wonder why it was bad. Think of that. I wonder why it was bad. It was so bad.”
Trump told the crowd he plans to spend more than $100 million on his campaign, which means that he would have to quickly pump tens of millions more into the race in the final weeks. As of the end of August, Trump had given his campaign committee $54 million, which is nearly one-third of the $166 million that it has collected in all, according to federal filings.
“By the way, I’m spending a lot of money on my campaign. And why isn’t she spending some money on hers? I’m spending a hundred million dollars,” Trump said, after criticizing Clinton for accepting donations from Wall Street bankers and special interest groups. "... I think I’ll be over a hundred million dollars."
Standing before a mostly white audience, Trump made an appeal to African Americans and pledged to rebuild nearby Detroit. He told his audience to monitor polling places on Election Day and ensure that everything is “on the up and up,” as part of his ongoing warning that voter fraud might lose him the election even though the tiny number of documented cases has not amounted to enough to throw an election.
"You've been reading the same stories as I've been reading, so go to your place and vote, and then go pick some other place and go sit there with your friends and make sure it's on the up and up," Trump said. "Because you know what? That’s a big, big problem in this country, and nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody has the guts to talk about it. So go and watch these polling places. Make sure it’s on the up and up. Please. That would one hell of a way to lose.”
And Trump made a joke about the drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich.
“So, it used to be that the cars were made in Flint, and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico,” Trump said. “Today, the cars are made in Mexico, and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”