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FBI clearance boosts Clinton, Trump cries foul


With the FBI having cleared Hillary Clinton from further investigation in her email case, both Clinton and her Republican Party rival Donald Trump are making last-ditch efforts to boost their chances of winning the US presidency on Tuesday.

On Sunday evening, FBI Director James Comey pulled another surprise by announcing that the recently-unearthed emails had not changed his determination that the Democratic nominee should not face criminal charges for her use of a private email address and server when she was secretary of state.

The announcement was made just two days before Election Day, after Democrats censured Comey for his October 28 letter to Congress on the latest portion of his bureau’s investigation into Clinton’s emails.

FBI Director James Comey

Clinton had been leading Trump throughout the campaign in most of the polls except for last week when she lost ground to Trump, and in some polls she was even trailing behind the billionaire businessman. However, in the past couple of days, her standing in opinion polls has stabilized again.

In a Sunday evening appearance in Sterling Heights, Michigan, Trump made it clear that he still considers Clinton guilty, and that the FBI will not let her “get away with her terrible crimes.”

“Right now she is being protected by a rigged system. It’s a totally rigged system,” said Trump, who has declared that he might not accept the results of the November 8 presidential election if there is evidence it was rigged.

“You can’t review 650,000 emails in eight days. You can’t do it folks,” Trump added.

US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Freedom Amphitheater in Sterling Heights, Michigan, on November 6, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The FBI was examining roughly 650,000 emails recovered from a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, a former US Congressman who was married to Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, until their divorce in late August.

During a late night stop in Minneapolis, Trump said the Clinton campaign was still in trouble.

“They know better than anybody this is a whole different ball game,” he said. “They don’t know about us, folks. We know how to win. They don’t know how to win.”

Meanwhile, in her first public appearance following the FBI’s announcement, Clinton struck a positive tone but did not mention the bureau’s decision.

Speaking on Sunday night in Cleveland, Clinton emphasized the need for unity and positivity, highlighting her vision of the country and denouncing Trump’s.

“The bottom line is that his [Trump’s] vision of America is so dark and divisive. It’s not the America I see as I travel around our country,” she said.

“I want us to have a vision that is hopeful, optimistic and unified about what we can do together to make sure America’s best years are ahead of us,” Clinton added.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greets supporters during a campaign rally at the Cleveland Public Auditorium on November 6, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by AFP)

The Clinton campaign released a statement following the FBI announcement that she should not face charges over her email scandal.

“We are glad to see what he has found, as we were confident he would,” Clinton campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said, of the FBI chief. “We’re glad this matter is resolved.”

Although Clinton is leading Trump, he has recently gained ground in several states that were leaning toward Clinton.

Trump and Clinton are now tied in Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio. In Michigan, Clinton’s lead over her Republican rival has decreased so much that the state is now too close to call.

Trump has to prevail in both Florida and North Carolina to have a good chance of winning the election, but Clinton could lose both states and still clinch the White House.

It looks Michigan has officially become a big battleground state in this election as Trump and Hillary’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, both were in Michigan on Sunday.

Former US President Bill Clinton speaks about his wife, Hillary Clinton, at the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Flint days before Election Day on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

On Monday, the day before the election, Clinton and President Barack Obama both are holding rallies in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor respectively.

And, Trump is planning to end his campaign with a late-night rally Monday in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Trump has strongly questioned the legitimacy of the American electoral system. He has called the election process rigged, and said the media is colluding with Clinton in order to beat him, adding that he believes the vote was already being “rigged” at many polling places.

As of Sunday, nearly 42 million Americans had already cast their ballots in the presidential election nationwide and there are signs from early returns that Clinton’s presidential hopes have been lifted by a high turnout among Hispanic voters in key states.

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