In an interview with Fox News’ Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday, Republican front runner Donald Trump suggested that Hillary Clinton was “being protected” and therefore would not be indicted by the Justice Department. When “The O'Reilly Factor” host asked Trump bluntly, “Do you think Hillary Clinton will be indicted?,” Trump tersely replied “No,” adding, “I think that what she has done is very, very serious.”
Trump juxtaposed Clinton’s apparent immunity with the witch hunt against Gen. David Petraeus. “Petraeus resigned as director of the CIA in 2012 after news reports emerged of an affair he had with his biographer,” explains Politico. “He also improperly exchanged information with her and subsequently pleaded guilty to mishandling classified information.”
“I know for a fact that what Gen. Petraeus and others have done was much less,” Trump added. “So I do believe Bill, that she’s being protected.”
However, O’Reilly remained slightly unconvinced, pressing Trump further. “But how can the Democratic Party protect her from the FBI? Isn’t the FBI non-corruptible?,” asked the Fox News’ host. In response, Trump appeared to hint at an apparent conspiracy theory at the highest levels of government “I hope they’re not working together,” the real estate mogul suggested.
While Trump insisted that he would look into pursuing federal charges against the former Secretary of State if elected president, his language was more ambivalent than before. I “would only do something if it was 100 percent fair,” he murmured.
Trump’s equivocation contrasted sharply with what he told Fox’s Sean Hannity at a town hall in March. “You have to” pursue a criminal indictment against the Democratic front runner, Trump asserted then. Later that month, the real estate mogul even implied that he may choose a Supreme Court nominee committed to pursuing federal charges against her, someone who “would look very seriously at her email disaster.”
As some political observers have noted, Trump’s tone has shifted markedly since his "yuge" win in New York. With the Republican nomination just over the horizon, Trump appears to be tempering his language and assuming a more diplomatic tone.
We may see bullish "Primary Trump" slowly evolve into circumscribed "General Election Trump." In an effort to reach out to voters outside his flamboyant base, the cartoon chameleon candidate may dim his bright orange color and redraw himself as a black and white everyday politician.