A top Donald Trump transition adviser, Kellyanne Conway, said Tuesday that the president-elect would not honor his pledge to have his Justice Department go after Hillary Clinton.
“I think when the president-elect … tells you before he’s even inaugurated that he doesn’t wish to pursue these charges, it sends a very strong message” to congressional Republicans, Conway said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Conway made the comments when asked if Trump would also encourage the GOP-led Congress to forgo potential investigations of Clinton.
But later in the day Monday, during a meeting with the New York Times, Trump did not rule out the possibility of his administration investigating Clinton.
Says he wants to move on and move forward. "I'm not looking to go back and go through this," Trump says.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2016
Trump is pressed if he has definitively ruled out prosecuting Hillary Clinton. “It’s just not something that I feel very strongly about."
— Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum) November 22, 2016
During the campaign, Trump directly told his Democratic foe that he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her, accusing her of committing many crimes.
“I hate to say it, but if I win I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” Trump said during the second presidential debate. “Because there has never been so many lies, so much deception.”
Trump frequently claimed that Clinton broke the law with her use of a private email server as secretary of state. The FBI looked into whether she or her aides mishandled classified information and concluded that no one should be charged. But Trump proclaimed that Clinton was “guilty as hell,” and his rallies were constantly interrupted by chants of “Lock her up!”
But Trump started to back off the pledge to investigate Clinton after he won the election. “I’m going to think about it,” he said in a postelection interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
As president, Trump would supposedly be independent of the Justice Department and the criminal investigations it pursues.