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EDITORIAL: Every Trump attack on Clinton damages the American presidency

LEFT: Donald Trump. RIGHT: Hillary Clinton. |
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

Republicans should be appalled by President Donald Trump’s continued trashing of a fellow citizen — in this case Hillary Clinton.

And they should be raising a cry from the rooftops.

For any president to suggest that any citizen should be investigated and jailed is a leap over a line that should never be crossed. There’s a reason the Department of Justice is insulated, supposedly, from the influences of the executive branch.

EDITORIAL

Trump’s behavior with respect to Clinton amounts to a daily scandal. It is the stuff of tin-pot dictators. And honestly, Mr. Trump, the election is over. You won. Get over it.

Just on Friday, Trump pressured the Department of Justice to investigate Clinton’s use of a private server for official emails, a Russian-related uranium sale and Washington lobbyist Tony Podesta’s international business. Trump wouldn’t rule out firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the matter.

In the past, Trump has called the brouhaha he stirred up over Clinton’s emails “bigger than Watergate.” But how seriously did he believe his own allegations? Since his inauguration, his daughter Ivanka and her husband, presidential adviser Jared Kushner, have cheerfully used private email accounts for government business without a peep from the president.

Trump’s latest allegations have no known foundation. Clinton didn’t personally OK the uranium sale, nor could she have; the uranium couldn’t be exported and the donations she supposedly got in return have been misrepresented. Podesta is in the news for his ties to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, not to Clinton, and the allegation that Clinton had a funding agreement with the Democratic National Committee before the primaries is not a criminal matter.

Possibly Trump thinks that attacking Clinton, which won him the White House, will work again for Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections. Or maybe he thinks his insistence, based on nothing, that Clinton is really the one who colluded with the Russians will divert the public’s attention from his own problems with special prosecutor Bob Mueller.

As if Mueller and most Americans are that dumb.

With every childish attack on Clinton, Trump further erodes the dignity and integrity of the office he holds. He will leave the White House one day, but we fear the permanent damage being done to the presidency.

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