President-elect Donald Trump has apparently gone back on threats he made to prosecute his rival Hillary Clinton, his top aide has said. Trump created a furor when he said he would jail Clinton if he won the White House.
After making Clinton's email scandal a core theme of his campaign, Trump seemed to have decided to drop the issue and concentrate on more important duties once he took over as president.
"I think when then president-elect…tells you before he's even inaugurated that he doesn't wish to pursue these charges, it sends a very strong message, tone and content," Trump's campaign manager and close aid Kellyanne Conway told reporters on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Referring to Trump's preparation for the White House, she said, "He's thinking of many different things as he prepares to become the president of the United States and things that sound like the campaign aren't among them," Conway added.
Speaking to reporters, former Mayor of New York and Trump's close supporter Rudy Giuliani told reporters that a decision to not investigate Clinton further was consistent with a US tradition "that after you win an election, you sort of put things behind you."
Speaking to reporters from the New York Times later on Tuesday, the president-elect himself said he did not "feel very strongly" about prosecuting the former secretary of state. Times reporter Mike Grynbaum tweeted Trump's statements.
Blaming FBI for the loss
Trump stirred up a storm during his second presidential debate with Clinton in October, when he said that if he won, he would instruct his attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into her email practices when she was secretary of state. Clinton responded, saying "It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country," to which Trump quipped: "Because you'd be in jail."
Clinton is believed to have used her family's private email server for official communication, rather than official email addresses on secure federal servers. The former secretary of state has attributed her loss in the presidential election to FBI Director James Comey's decision to reopen the probe on her private email server.
She claims that the two letters the FBI chief sent to Congress prompted crucial states to vote for Trump instead. But Comey's second letter, sent three days before the election, said the FBI had not changed its decision about not charging Clinton.
mg/kl (AFP, dpa)