President-elect Donald Trump is backing down on one of the cornerstones of his campaign, as his top aide confirms the 70-year-old will not pursue criminal charges against his one-time opponent, Hillary Clinton, for her use of a private email server while working for the U.S. Department of State.
The former Apprentice host’s third election campaign manager (and current senior advisor to his presidential transition team), Kellyanne Conway, confirmed Tuesday to Morning Joe hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough the Trump administration has no plans to further investigate Clinton’s activities, which became a topic of intense debate throughout the election cycle, with the phrase “lock her up” repeated as a go-to chant for the Republican’s supporters at political rallies across the country in the months leading up to the Nov. 8 election.
Responding to Scarborough, who asked if Trump will encourage fellow Republicans to shift their focus away from Clinton (who won the popular vote by nearly two million ballots) in favor of continuing their legislative agenda on Capitol Hill, Conway said she thinks the party — which will take control of the White House and both chambers of Congress upon Trump’s inauguration — will fall in-line with the incumbent’s wishes.
“I think when the President-elect, who’s also the head of your party now, tells you before he’s even inaugurated he doesn’t wish to pursue these charges, it sends a very strong message — tone and content — to the members [of the party],” Conway said.
She continued: “I think Hillary Clinton still has to face the fact that a majority of Americans don’t find her to be honest or trustworthy, but if Donald Trump can help her heal, then perhaps that’s a good thing.”
Conway also spoke about Trump’s reportedly contentious Monday meeting with members of the national media, telling Morning Joe panelists the summit, attended by personalities such as Gayle King, Wolf Blitzer, Martha Raddatz, and CNN chief Jeff Zucker, was a “lively” and “spirited” affair, with a cordial “receiving line” for Trump’s newly appointed chief strategist, Steve Bannon, despite numerous reports indicating the event functioned as a “firing squad,” during which Trump reportedly berated the media for slanting their coverage of him during his bid for the presidency.
Still, Conway insisted Trump is shifting away from the diatribe he’s become synonymous with since announcing his candidacy in 2015.
“I think he’s thinking of many different things as he prepares to become president of the United States,” Conway said. “Things that sound like the campaign aren’t among them.”