Clinton without close aide Abedin for third day
Hillary Clinton campaigned Monday for a third straight day without close aide Huma Abedin, linked by media to the renewed FBI probe into the former secretary of state’s use of a private email server.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation jolted the US presidential race Friday with the announcement it was reviewing a new batch of emails that appeared to be pertinent to the Clinton case.
US media reports said the emails were discovered during a separate FBI probe of Abedin’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, for allegedly sending explicit online messages to a minor girl.
Democratic presidential nominee Clinton, who is locked into a tightening race for the White House against maverick Republican billionaire Donald Trump, spent the weekend without Abedin in the crucial battleground state of Florida, and was again without her on a visit to swing state Ohio on Monday.
The last time the elegant 40-year-old Abedin, who has worked for Clinton for 20 years, was seen traveling with Clinton was Friday, when America’s top cop made his dramatic announcement just 11 days before the November 8 election.
FBI boss James Comey announced in a letter to lawmakers that his agents are reviewing a newly discovered trove of emails, resurrecting an issue Clinton had hoped was behind her.
At the time Clinton and her team, including Abedin, were on the candidate’s campaign plane gliding toward an election rally in Iowa, oblivious to the shockwaves convulsing the political world below.
US media say the probe was renewed after agents seized a laptop used by Abedin and Weiner.
The disgraced former congressman, who resigned in 2011 after sending explicit online messages, is under FBI investigation over allegations he sent sexual overtures to a 15-year-old girl.
In August, Abedin announced their separation in August after The New York Post published messages and photographs that he exchanged with a woman showing him shirtless and in bulging briefs next to their sleeping four-year-old son.
Weiner was forced to resign his seat in Congress in 2011 after a similar sexting scandal in which he admitted to exchanging sexually explicit pictures and messages with at least six women.
Comey’s announcement thrust back into the spotlight allegations that Clinton put the United States at risk by using a private email server while secretary of state.
Comey in July accused Clinton of being “extremely careless” but did not recommend that charges be brought, angering Republicans.