October 10, 2016

Trump was only kidding when he said he'd arrest Hillary Clinton.

That's the spin Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning.

Conway finally resurfaced after cancelling her Sunday show appearances abruptly. It's possible that Saturday Night Live making fun of her lies had something to do with that.

Willie Geist asked, "Donald Trump announced during the debate he would appoint a special prosecutor if he was elected President to look into Hillary Clinton and her e-mails and in an offhand moment he said she would be in jail if he were President. Does he stand by that this morning?"

Conway replied, "That was a quip. I'll go with NBC on it. He had already finished his statement. she said something that's why you'll never be president. He said you would be in jail and so that was his answer."

She continued, "As for the special prosecutor, I think that's Donald Trump channeling the frustration he hears from thousands of voters on the stump every day."

No, it wasn't a quip, it was a threat. A quip is defined as a "witty remark."

There's nothing witty about empowering a special prosecutor and promising to jail your political rival.

And it's not a joke. The threat is actually pinned to the top of Donald Trump's campaign Facebook page this morning. What's the problem, Donald? You say one thing in public and another in "private"?

UPDATE: Kellyanne, Donald Trump has promised to lock Hillary Clinton up many times during this campaign, as documented by Digby on Salon:

If this is really the first time that people have heard Trump saying this, they haven’t been listening. I wrote about this last June for Salon, quoting Trump saying these words at a rally in San Jose, California:

I used to say, leave it up to the lawyers. I have watched so many lawyers on so many different networks. I have read so much about the emails. Folks, honestly, she’s guilty as hell. She’s guilty as hell. . . . It’s called a five-year statue of limitations. If I win . . . everything’s going to be fair but I’m sure the attorney general will take a very good look at it from a fair standpoint, OK? I’m sure. I think it’s disgraceful.


He told John Dickerson on “Face the Nation” in June:

What she did is a criminal situation. She wasn’t supposed to do that with the server and the emails and all of the other. Now, I rely on the lawyers. These are good lawyers. These are professional lawyers. These are lawyers that know what they’re talking about and know — are very well-versed on what she did. They say she’s guilty as hell. . . . I would have my attorney general look at it. Yes, I would because everyone knows that she’s guilty. Now, I would say this, she’s guilty, but I would let my attorney general make that determination.

In February, Trump had this exchange with Sean Hannity on Fox News:

Hannity: If you win, you’ll have an attorney general. The statute of limitations will not have passed.

Trump: Six years, actually. Well, look, you have no choice. We have to solve all sorts of problems. In fairness, you have to look into [Hillary Clinton]. Maybe she can prove her innocence, but it just seems to me that I think the public knows everything that they are going to know.

One of Trump’s major campaign promises, as he put it last November, is “to look into that crime very, very seriously, folks.” The fact that so few people heard this or noticed it until last night’s debate is astonishing. It’s Exhibit A of Trump’s authoritarian impulse and when people ecstatically chant, “Lock her up,” this is what they’re talking about. It’s never been a joke. The good news is that people have finally stopped laughing.

A quip, you say?

I think not.

It's a Trump campaign promise.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We are currently migrating to Disqus

On May 14, 2022, we started migrating our comments from Insticator back to Disqus. During this transition period, some posts will have Insticator and some Disqus. For more information on the transition, as well as information regarding old C&L accounts, please see this post.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.