Will Hillary sack her top aide to save herself? Huma in hiding as she pleads ignorance about emails on Weiner’s laptop and faces jail if it’s proved she lied – and a new poll puts Trump a point behind
- Questions are mounting over the longtime-aide’s future in the campaign
- The latest poll says the gap between Trump and Clinton is just one point
- A third of voters said the FBI’s announcement has affected their support
- Clinton’s friends and allies are urging her to distance herself from Abedin
- Would be a drastic move with just eight days before Election Day
- Abedin has pleaded ignorance and said she rarely uses husband’s laptop
- She has reportedly told her colleagues she had no idea how the email’s ended up on his laptop
Questions are mounting about Huma Abedin’s future in Hillary Clinton’s campaign after FBI director James Comey announced the agency is investigating potentially classified emails on her disgraced husband Anthony Weiner’s laptop.
Abedin is in hiding at her Manhattan apartment while her boss continues on campaigning – as a new ABC/Washington Post poll taken after the revelation shows her campaign is in crisis with Trump just one point behind Clinton on 45 points to 46.
That is a ten per cent fall from last week and a third of voters say they are less likely to vote for Clinton because of the renewed FBI investigation.
Clinton’s closest aide has reportedly pleaded ignorance about how the emails ended up on her husband’s laptop – and were subsequently found by FBI agents after DailyMail.com exposed his sexting of a 15-year-old girl.
And even worse for her situation, Abedin swore under oath that she had handed over all of her devices that could hold emails relevant to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. If she’s found to have lied she could face up to five years in jail.
Now Clinton’s aides are reportedly urging her to distance herself from Huma, who has been her aide for more than a decade and who she regards as almost a daughter, according to the New York Times.
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Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin remained home in New York on Saturday (picturd), after the online sexting habits of her husband, Anthony Weiner, upended her longtime boss’s presidential campaign
Clinton’s longtime aide has told colleagues she has no idea how the emails ended up on her husband’s computer, and insists she rarely used it. The Washington Post also reported that her lawyers didn’t hand over the device because they didn’t think it contained any of her emails.
In sworn statements made during a deposition, she said she had handed over all the devices where the pertinent emails were kept. If authorities prove she was lying, she could be charged with perjury, which carries a sentence of up to five years in federal prison.
Abedin remained holed up in her New York City apartment on Saturday night, a day after her husband’s sexting of a 15-year-old girl, which was exposed by DailyMail.com, led the FBI to sensationally reopen its investigation into Clinton’s emails.
While her boss campaigned in Miami and her aides went to war with FBI director James Comey for his ‘unprecedented and deeply troubling’ decision, Abedin was notably absent and looked solemn at her Manhattan home.
On Friday, the FBI revealed that it had found government-related emails on a laptop Abedin shared with her disgraced, former Congressman husband Weiner
Weiner’s sexting investigation is a serious blow to Clinton’s campaign in the tightening presidential race.
In the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll, the gap between Clinton and Trump has narrowed to just one point (46-45), with a third of voters saying they’re less likely to support Clinton given FBI Director James Comey’s disclosure
The results suggest Clinton’s followers may be less inclined to support her following the latest revelation.
It also shows that Trump has enjoyed a resurgence in the last week, and has recovered from the flurry of sexual misconduct claims.
As Clinton carried on trying to drum up votes ahead of the final stretch, a solemn-looking Abedin could be seen inside her Gramercy Park apartment in loungewear as she spent time with her mother and sister.
Reports say agents found thousands of emails on the shared laptop which merit further investigation.
When Clinton was Secretary of State, Abedin had email accounts on the State Department server, Hillary’s controversial private server and Yahoo.
Abedin was pictured aboard the campaign plane with Clinton on Friday before the FBI announced they were reopening the investigation into the private email server
Conflicting reports suggest the emails could either have been sent from Abedin to Clinton, forwarded between Abedin’s accounts so she could more easily print them off, or duplicates of emails already investigated by the FBI earlier this year.
As of Saturday night, the FBI still has not received the green light from the Justice Department for a warrant allowing the agency to read the newly discovered emails to determine if they contain classified information, Yahoo News reported.
As she stayed off the campaign trail in one of the campaign’s critical final days, Abedin may have to contend with some of her sworn statements in a Judicial Watch lawsuit, when she got asked how she went about searching for records she turned over to the State Department.
‘I looked for all the devices that may have any of my State Department work on it and returned — returned — gave them to my attorneys for them to review for all relevant documents. And gave them devices and paper,’ Abedin said.
Asked what devices she handed over, Abedin replied: ‘If memory serves me correctly, it was two laptops, a BlackBerry, and some files that I found in my apartment, Abedin said.
The devices were requested as part of a lawsuit by the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch and were later reviewed by the FBI.
Abedin pictured with her estranged husband at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala in May
The FBI swooped in on Weiner in September after DailyMail.com revealed he had sent explicit messages and graphic pictures to a 15-year-old girl
Abedin then told Judicial Watch attorney Ramona Cotca that she was ‘not involved in the process’ of selecting what documents on her devices would be given to the State Department.
She said she asked her attorneys ‘to find whatever they thought was relevant and appropriate, whatever was their determination as to what was a federal record’.
‘And they did,’ she added. ‘They turned the materials in, and I know they did.’
ANTHONY WEINER SEXTING SCANDAL
The FBI, the New York Police Department, and US attorneys in New York and North Carolina opened investigations into Weiner’s conduct in late September, after DailyMail.com exclusively reported on Sept. 21 that the former politician carried on a months-long online relationship with a 15-year-old high school girl.
Weiner exchanged flirtatious and sexually-charged messages with the teen for months after the girl struck up a conversation with him on Twitter in January.
Weiner told the girl he woke up ‘hard’ after thinking about her, sent her shirtless photos, and complimented her body. He also encouraged her to talk to him on the video-chat application Skype.
The girl alleged that during these Skype conversations, Weiner asked her to get undressed and touch herself. She claimed he also asked her to dress up in school girl outfits and pretend he was her teacher and brought up ‘rape fantasies.’
Weiner issued a statement to the Dailymail.com apologizing for ‘repeatedly demonstrate[ing] terrible judgment about the people I have communicated with online and the things I have sent.’
In one particularly lewd message, he told the teen: ‘I would bust that tight p***y so hard and so often that you would leak and limp for a week.’
Abedin, one of Clinton’s most trusted aides, said she conducted ‘the majority’ of her work at her computer and Blackberry but also gave her attorneys the login and password to her personal ‘Clintonmail.com’ account.
She said she relied on her State Department email for the ‘vast majority’ of her work, but admitted there were occasions she used the Clintonmail.com account for ‘State-related matters’.
While Abedin remained in New York, Clinton traveled without her to Daytona Beach, Florida, where she took her war against Comey right to her own supporters during a rally.
‘If you’re like me, you probably have a few questions about it,’ Clinton told a crowd of about 900 at a community center. ‘It is pretty strange. It’s pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information, right before an election,’ Clinton said.
The crowd booed at the first mention of the FBI issue.
‘In fact, it’s not just strange it’s unprecedented and it’s deeply troubling,’ Clinton said.
Clinton had first gone after Comey on Friday in a surprise press conference just hours after the news broke, just days before the November 8 election.
‘Voters deserve to get full and complete facts. And so we call on Director Comey to explain everything right away,’ she said, calling out Comey by name.
She urged Comey to ‘put it all out on the table.’
Then she trained her fire on Donald Trump, whom she said was ‘already making up lies,’ on a day Trump took the issue and ran with it at his own rallies, speculating about Clinton, the Justice Department, Abedin, and Weiner, whom he termed a ‘sleaze.’
‘He’s doing his best to confuse, mislead and discourage the American people,’ Clinton said. ‘I think it’s time for Donald Trump to stop fear-mongering.’
Clinton flew to Daytona Beach and campaigned in Volusia County as part of her all-out effort to stop Trump in a must-win state for him – but was compelled to address the controversy that has upended her campaign.
Mitt Romney won the county in 2012, though it was in the Democratic column for several previous elections.
Hillary Clinton took her war against FBI Director James Comey right to her own supporters Saturday in Daytona Beach, Florida
She took on Comey head-on a day after he released a letter announcing that the bureau was examining new emails connected to its investigation of Clinton’s email scandal. She said it was ‘strange’ that the announcement had been made so close to the election
Clinton also accused Trump of ‘making up lies’ and fearmongering in the wake of the FBI’s latest release
Meanwhile, as the controversy swirls, Clinton continues to go about the business of retail politics.
When she landed in Daytona Beach, a small group greeted her with a campaign sign.
Ditching protocol, Clinton walked up to them, and greeted and shook hands with the entire group.
Later, went to a tailgate party with students at Bethune-Cookman University.
Clinton took the stage at the event and declared: ‘I just want to encourage all the students who are here today, plus all the alumni who are here… to get out and vote early.’
Later, she went to the 50 yard line of Daytona’s Municipal Stadium.
‘This election is about education, it’s about the future of the… historically black colleges and universities, and I promise you I will do my very best to build on the progress, the progress of President Obama,’ she said to cheers.
‘This election is one of the most important in our country’s history because everything you care about, everything I care about is really on the ballot and we’ve got to demonstrate that we’re going to build a future where the economy works for everybody, not just those at the top,’ she said.
Clinton flew to Daytona Beach and campaigned in Volusia County as part of her all-out effort to stop Trump in a must-win state for him – but was compelled to address the controversy that has upended her campaign
Clinton continues to go about the business of retail politics. When she landed in Daytona Beach, a small group greeted her with a campaign sign
Clinton greets tailgaters at the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats homecoming football game in Daytona Beach, Florida
‘I promise you that I will be your partner, I will work with you, I will work for you, every single day in the White House, and we’re going to prove once and for all that love trumps hate,’ she said.
The Clinton campaign has suggested that the new-found emails are duplicates, but the law enforcement source said it’s highly unlikely that all of them are.
When news emerged of the email investigation being reopened, a campaign aide said that Clinton ‘took the news like a champ. We always knew there’d be a another surprise in the election.
‘She’s in a very good frame of mind about it. Pretty happy warrior and is quite confident we’ll be able to deal with it.’
Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, teed off on the lawman in a blistering press call on Saturday.
He said Comey’s move to reexamine Clinton emails was ‘long on innuendo and short on facts,’ calling the reporting on the stunning developments in the presidential race ‘overblown.’
Clinton shakes the hand of a supporter at a Bethune-Cookman University football game tailgate
‘We’ve got to demonstrate that we’re going to build a future where the economy works for everybody, not just those at the top,’ she said
Clinton was campaigning in Daytona – a county where Mitt Romney won in 2012, though it was in the Democratic column for several previous elections
‘Despite initial reporting the letter amounted to a quote unquote reopening of the investigation … it seems that that is not at all the case,’ fumed Podesta on a campaign press call with reporters.
Podesta blasted House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah, saying, ‘This is someone who has already promised to launch years of new Hillary Clinton investigations when she’s president.’
He referenced an LA Times report that emails the FBI was looking at were not to or from Clinton.
‘It’s had to see how this amounts to anything,’ Podesta said, stressing the last minute nature of the campaign bombshell.
‘Comey has not been forthcoming with the facts,’ Podesta blustered. ‘What little told us: hard to understand why this was warranted at all.’
The Democratic candidate was in Florida notably without her longtime aide Huma Abedin (center earlier this month), who remained home in New York, after the online sexting habits of her husband, Anthony Weiner, upended her longtime boss’s presidential campaign.
Hillary Clinton (above) emerged on Saturday boarding her campaign plane noticeably without her top aide Huma Abedin as her campaign cranked up its war against FBI Director James Comey
The angry call came after reports that the FBI came across new emails during its investigation of Weiner’s lewd emails with an underage girl.
Podesta said they are ‘standing’ behind Abedin, following the latest revelation into the Clinton email scandal.
‘Huma completely and voluntarily complied with and cooperated with the investigation,’ Podesta said.
‘She sat for a hours long interview. She turned over and went through with her lawyers all of the emails that might possibly be relevant and turned them over to the state department and investigators.
‘There’s absolutely nothing she’s done that we think calls into question anything that she’s done.
‘She’s been fully cooperating and we of course stand behind her.’
Campaign manager Robby Mook said the stunning FBI story is actually ginning up Clinton supporters.
On Friday, Comey sent a letter to Congress to inform them about the reopening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s (above on Saturday) private email server based on newly discovered emails, rocking Clinton’s campaign
While on her plane on Saturday, Clinton (above) was photographed speaking with members of her staff and seemed at ease despite the growing scandal
‘We’re not just seeing this in our offices on the ground but also in the online space as well,’ he said.
‘We already had momentum and wind behind our back going into yesterday this has only increased the momentum that we’re feeling among our activists on the ground.’
Republican Donald Trump had a field day with the latest developments as he campaigned out west.
‘Her criminal action was willful, deliberate, intentional and purposeful,’ Trump said in an agricultural event center in Golden, Colorado. ‘Hillary set up an illegal server for the obvious purpose of shielding her criminal conduct from public disclosure and exposure.’
Then he went after Abedin’s spouse, disgraced ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner, calling him ‘a major, major, major sleaze.’
Weiner’s alleged sexting affair with a teenage girl drew federal investigators to the computer where they found thousands of Hillary Clinton-related emails thought to be lost forever.
‘I wonder, is she going to keep Huma? Huma’s been a problem,’ Trump said.
‘I wonder if Huma’s going to stay there. And I hope they haven’t given Huma immunity.’
‘She knows the real story. She knows what’s going on,’ he said.