Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump rallied supporters Sunday in Las Vegas, hammering Democratic rival Hillary Clinton over the FBI’s announcement that it is looking into additional emails potentially tied to its investigation of the private server she used while secretary of state.
Trump’s visit comes a week after early voting started in Nevada and just nine days before Election Day.
“Real change also means getting rid of the corruption,” Trump told the estimated 5,000 people who packed inside The Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom for the rally.
Trump’s campaign stop comes just two days after news broke that the FBI is investigating the additional emails. The FBI in July recommended no charges in the case, but said the handling of sensitive emails was “extremely careless.”
“Hillary has no one but herself to blame for her mounting legal problems,” Trump said. “Her criminal action was willful, deliberate, intentional and purposeful.”
The linkage the FBI is investigating is tied to Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Weiner is under investigation on accusations he engaged in sexting with an underage girl. The Weiner investigation led federal authorities to additional information potentially related to Clinton’s server.
“We never thought we were going to say ‘thank you’ to Anthony Weiner,” Trump said.
Trump’s visit underscores Nevada’s swing state role in the election between Trump and Clinton.
Trump, while energized by Friday’s development, also gave a stump speech that highlighted his platform, including the need for secure borders, rebuilding the military and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States.
“And yes, we will build a wall,” Trump said of his proposal to put a wall along the border with Mexico — a cornerstone of his campaign platform.
“When we win on Nov. 8, we are going to Washington, D.C., and we are going to drain the swamp,” Trump said.
Trump frequently cast the political establishment in Washington as incompetent or beholden to campaign donors and special interests.
“My contract with the American people begins with a plan to end government corruption,” Trump said.
At one point, Trump brought a supporter onstage with a “Latinas for Trump” sign.
With early voting underway, Trump and speakers before him urged the crowd to vote. Cheers followed the announcement that buses parked outside could take audience members to early voting sites.
Speakers including Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald and Danny Tarkanian, a Republican running in the 3rd Congressional District, highlighted the importance of casting ballots.
Before Trump’s speech, while waiting at the security line in front of the ballroom, some Trump supporters took selfies with Rico Jimenez, who was dressed as Hillary Clinton in a prison costume.
Jimenez, 26, of Orange County, California, has been to about eight Trump rallies.
“He’s not a criminal,” Jimenez said. “He’s the only one who talks about America’s interests on a global scale. He’s not scripted. He doesn’t have to have the word ‘sigh’ on his teleprompter so he can feel emotions.”
Trump’s rally attracted supporters from not only Nevada, and neighboring states, but also the East Coast.
Becky Hawkins, 66, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, who is visiting family in Las Vegas, said she and her husband were lucky to have their vacation coincide with Trump’s rally.
“I love him because he doesn’t owe anybody anything,” Hawkins said. “He’s for the vets, he’s for the old people. He’s going to do great things because he’s a businessman.”
Cindy McEtchin, 64, of Las Vegas, and her husband have voted early, casting their ballots for Trump.
“We want change,” McEtchin said.
Stan McEtchin, 65, of Las Vegas, agreed.
He added, however, that he doesn’t believe the latest FBI probe into newly found Clinton emails will sway her supporters to Trump.
“It’s more of the same,” Stan McEtchin said. “They’ve already been inundated with that kind of news.”