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Trump blames ‘rigged’ system for FBI recommendation on Clinton

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump pauses as he speaks at a rally in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, July 5, 2016. (Gerry Broome / Associated Press)
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump pauses as he speaks at a rally in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, July 5, 2016. (Gerry Broome / Associated Press)
By Colin Campbell and Bryan Anderson Tribune News Service

RALEIGH, N.C. – Donald Trump blasted rival Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server at a packed rally at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday evening, saying the FBI’s recommendation not to pursue criminal charges shows “the system is rigged.”

Tuesday’s rally is Trump’s second visit to North Carolina since he became the presumptive Republican nominee in a presidential race that is expected to be closely contested in the Tar Heel State.

The billionaire spoke on the same day Clinton, the former secretary of state, held her first campaign appearance with President Barack Obama in Charlotte.

“Essentially, I thought, everybody thought, she was guilty,” Trump said of Clinton, speaking inside the auditorium at downtown’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. “It turned out that we’re not going to press charges. It’s really amazing. We have a rigged system, folks.”

Trump criticized Obama’s decision to campaign with Clinton. “Why was she campaigning on the plane of the United States – that very, very expensive plane?”

Several protesters disrupted the Republican presidential candidate’s rally and were quickly escorted out by police. Before Trump took the podium, an organizer told people in the crowd to yell, “Trump, Trump, Trump” if they were near a protester to help police find the culprit.

Logan Smith, a spokesman for the liberal advocacy group Progress N.C., was thrown out of the rally after he stood up and yelled, “Trump has small hands!”

While Clinton was joined earlier Tuesday at a Charlotte rally by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Deborah Ross, some top North Carolina Republican leaders missed Trump’s Raleigh event.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr was in Washington instead. “After multiple terror attacks associated with the Islamic State this week, Sen. Burr is attending to his duties in Washington as Senate Intelligence Committee chairman,” campaign spokesman Jesse Hunt said.

And Gov. Pat McCrory was out of the state. “The governor’s office said yesterday that he will be heading out of state today for a long-scheduled trip with the first lady, so he’s unable to attend tonight’s event with Mr. Trump,” spokesman Ricky Diaz said.

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