RALEIGH, N.C. — Donald Trump shared the battleground state of North Carolina with Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama on Tuesday — and the presumptive Republican nominee used the proximity to take potshots at the Democrats on a day that provided ample ammunition.
Rousing an already boisterous crowd, Trump lambasted the FBI's recommendation not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton from her time as secretary of state, questioning "how can you possibly say no charges" to what Trump called the "Enron-style purge of her emails."
Trump called Tuesday morning's announcement a "tragedy" and seized on FBI Director James Comey's allegations that Clinton was "extremely careless" in decisions regarding her emails and server.
"You didn't have to be careless. You didn't even have to really know that what you were doing was wrong, and you're guilty," Trump said. "The laws are very explicit. Stupidity is not a reason that you're going to be innocent, OK? It's not a reason."
Trump stayed mostly on message Tuesday evening, attacking Clinton — whom he repeatedly called "crooked" — while putting her husband, former President Bill Clinton, Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch on trial for their roles in the email scandal.
The most glaring of these attacks came when Trump lobbed the unfounded accusation that Clinton was "bribing" Lynch.
His allegation was based on a report in The New York Times — which thus far has been attributed only to Democratic aides — that said Clinton is considering retaining Lynch if she wins the presidency.
"I'm not knocking the attorney general," Trump said, only to directly knock Lynch in his next sentences:
"What I'm saying is how can you say that? It's a bribe. The attorney general is sitting there saying, 'If I get Hillary off the hook, I'm going to have more years or eight more years, but if she loses I'm out of a job.' It's a bribe. It's a disgrace."
Trump then took aim at Obama, saying he "should be at home" instead of hitting the campaign trail with Clinton. He also called Obama "all talk and no action."
Throughout the night, mentions of Clinton, Obama and Lynch were met with boos and jeers from the crowd.
Most notably, regarding Clinton, crowd goers shouted out on a several occasions, "Hang that b-tch!" — a chant that was met with more cheers from fellow attendees.
Trump himself did not hear, or did not comment on, that particular callout.
As for Clinton's fellow Democratic hopeful, Trump lamented that Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday "lost the FBI primary.'"
"Bernie, my poor Bernie!" Trump mocked.
Trump also touched on the Middle East and the war on terrorism, calling the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein a "really bad guy" with some redeeming qualities when it came to killing terrorists.
He "didn't read them the rights. They didn't talk. They were terrorists, over," Trump said of Hussein.
Now, Trump said, "Iraq is Harvard for terrorism. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq."
Jake Sullivan, the Clinton campaign's senior policy adviser, said Trump's comments proved he's "dangerous."
"Donald Trump's praise for brutal strongmen seemingly knows no bounds," Sullivan said in a statement Tuesday night. "In reality, Hussein's regime was a sponsor of terrorism — one that paid families of suicide bombers who attacked Israelis, among other crimes.
"Trump's cavalier compliments for brutal dictators, and the twisted lessons he seems to have learned from their history, again demonstrate how dangerous he would be as commander-in-chief and how unworthy he is of the office he seeks."
Joining Trump on the trail Tuesday was vice presidential hopeful Bob Corker, a Republican senator from Tennessee, whose soft voice and slow drawl stood in sharp contrast to Trump's classic brashness.
Taking the stage before Trump's 70-minute remarks, Corker said he hadn't planned on saying anything.
"I just came to visit," Corker told the crowd. "But I have to say something: The rallies that I have back home aren't quite like this. Pretty cool, yeah. This is unbelievable, isn't it?"
Corker didn't work the rope line with Trump, as some of his fellow possible VPs have in the past. Instead, he stood on stage and backstage, giving a small wave to the crowd only after Trump had mostly finished working the line.
Moments later, Corker hopped off the stage to shake some hands, after most of the crowd had seen whom they were there for.