Don’t Lock Her Up? Conway Confirms Trump Won’t Pursue Clinton Probes On Email, Charity

Don’t Lock Her Up? Conway Confirms Trump Won’t Pursue Clinton Probes On Email, Charity

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Donald Trump will not pursue investigations against his former Democratic rival for the White House, Hillary Clinton, over her use of a private email server while secretary of state or her family’s charity, MSNBC said in a report that a Trump senior adviser did not dispute.

During their bitter presidential campaign, the Republican Trump vowed to jail Clinton and crowds at his rallies chanted “Lock her up.” He now believes she “has been through enough,” MSNBC reported on Tuesday, citing an unidentified source.

Addressing the report in an interview with MSNBC, senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway did not deny it and indicated it was correct.

“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,” she said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program.

During the campaign, opinion polls found that many Americans did not find Clinton trustworthy. Trump’s poll ratings were consistently even lower.

The FBI investigated Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s first term, concluding earlier this year that her actions were careless but that there were no grounds for bringing charges.

The Clinton Foundation charity has also been scrutinized for donations it received while she led the State Department.

Clinton acknowledged her use of a private email server was a mistake and denied links between foundation donors and her work as secretary of state. There has been no evidence that foreign donors to the foundation obtained favors from the State Department while Clinton headed it.

Congress can pursue its own investigations regardless of whether Trump opts to appoint a special prosecutor, as he vowed during the campaign.

U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has said he will continue investigating Clinton’s use of a private server.

Conway indicated Trump would frown on that.

“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,” Conway said on MSNBC.

The New York businessman has been holding meetings since his Nov. 8 election victory to build his administration and fill senior posts before he takes office on Jan. 20.

“He’s thinking of many different things as he prepares to become the president of the United States, and things that sounds like the campaign aren’t among them,” Conway said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump abruptly canceled a meeting with The New York Times, a newspaper he has frequently criticized, complaining on Twitter about coverage he deemed inaccurate and a “nasty tone.”

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told reporters hours later the meeting was still on.

On Monday Trump met with television anchors and news industry executives and reporters in a session The Washington Post described as a contentious but generally respectful.

Trump singled out reporting of his campaign by CNN and NBC that he considered to be unfair, the Post said, citing four participants at the meeting in New York.

Trump, who has never previously held public office, was quick to bristle at unflattering news coverage during the campaign, even as he remained accessible to certain reporters, including several from the Times.

“I canceled today’s meeting with the failing @nytimes when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment. Not nice,” Trump said in an early morning Twitter post.

“Perhaps a new meeting will be set up with the @nytimes. In the meantime they continue to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!” Trump wrote in a second post.

A spokeswoman for the Times said the newspaper was not aware the meeting was canceled until Trump’s tweet, issued at about 6:30 a.m. EST (1130 GMT).

Trump has not held a news conference to talk about his priorities since his election, although on Monday he issued a short video message on his plans for his first days in office.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Frances Kerry)

IMAGE: Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listen to a question from a member of the audience during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 9, 2016.  REUTERS/Saul Loeb

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