Trump Becomes Presumptive Nominee; Emails Continue To Be A Problem For Clinton
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. It was a tough week for Hillary Clinton and a mixed bag for the presumptive GOP nominee, Donald Trump. Trump got his 1,237th delegate Thursday, just the number to make them the Republican nominee. But he also has failed to produce his much promised presidential pivot, which is making some of his fellow Republicans worry.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton received a scathing report from the State Department inspector general about her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. To talk more about all this, we're joined by NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson. Hi, Mara.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: Let's start with Hillary Clinton. She cannot seem to vanquish her rival Bernie Sanders. And she cannot seem to get rid of the email controversy that haunts her.
LIASSON: That's right. This was a bad week for Hillary Clinton. The State Department inspector general released a report that was very scathing. And it contradicted a couple of assertions she's made in the past about her using a private server for her emails. She'd said in the past that the arrangement was allowed. Now, she never said she asked for permission and got it. But she did say it was allowed. And the inspector general said no, it wasn't allowed. And if she had asked us, we wouldn't have let her do it, or we would've told her not to do it.
But I think the bottom line of all this is that the emails are the root of her biggest problem, which is that she is seen as dishonest and untrustworthy and her numbers on that are getting worse and worse. And it's depressing her overall numbers with voters.
MARTIN: Meanwhile, the apparent GOP nominee Donald Trump keeps saying he believes Hillary Clinton should be indicted for this. Is that even a possibility?
LIASSON: We don't know if she'll be indicted or not. We know that the FBI says it wants to bring this investigation to a close relatively soon. There are many people who cover the Justice Department who think she won't be indicted because she didn't commit a crime. But we simply don't know. We do know that Donald Trump will say, no matter what happens, that she should have been indicted. And if she isn't, he probably will allege that the FBI wanted to indict her but there was a corrupt cover-up.
So if she is indicted, of course it will be a huge negative development for her campaign. And if she's not indicted, it will be critical that the Justice Department and the FBI explain why they didn't and explain why it was unanimous because you can already hear the conspiracy theory industrial complex gearing up around this issue.
MARTIN: Well, let's talk more about Donald Trump because he had a big week. He finally crossed the threshold, reaching the magic number of 1,237, the number of delegates he needed to become the Republican nominee. So what does that mean in terms of garnering the establishment's support?
LIASSON: Some of the establishment is coming around. As a matter of fact, the coalescing behind Donald Trump, what I call the great accommodation, happened a lot quicker and more broadly than many people had expected. Even Marco Rubio, his former rival, said that he plans to help Trump. He didn't actually endorse him. But Donald Trump will be the nominee. And we will not have a contested convention in Cleveland. That doesn't mean that there won't be protests outside or some controversy inside.
MARTIN: I mean, we just saw more protests last week. Donald Trump was in the Southwest. And there were protesters outside of those arenas in San Diego and Albuquerque.
LIASSON: Yes. Wherever Trump goes, there seem to be protests now. There's also a pattern. Just when you think he's going to be magnanimous in victory or make that much promised presidential pivot, he doesn't. There he was in San Diego railing against the Mexican judge who is hearing the case against Trump University. In Albuquerque, he gratuitously insulted Susana Martinez who's the governor of New Mexico, the only female Hispanic governor in United States history.
And she is the head of the Republican Governors Association. So she represents three groups he badly needs - women, Hispanics and the Republican establishment. So the concern that many Republicans have is that Donald Trump won't pivot to being more presidential because A, he doesn't think he has to, or B, he can't help himself.
MARTIN: Mara Liasson. Thanks so much, Mara.
LIASSON: Thank you.
[POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The original headline incorrectly stated that Hillary Clinton is facing federal charges; she is not. Also, in the story, we refer to "Donald Trump railing against the Mexican judge who is hearing the case against Trump University." U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel was born in Indiana, grew up there and attended college and law school in the state. His parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico. Trump has referred to him as Mexican.]
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Correction May 31, 2016
The original headline incorrectly stated that Hillary Clinton is facing federal charges; she is not. Also, in the story, we refer to "Donald Trump railing against the Mexican judge who is hearing the case against Trump University." U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel was born in Indiana, grew up there and attended college and law school in the state. His parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico. Trump has referred to him as Mexican.