— -- NOTABLES
--CLINTON CAMPAIGNS IN ATLANTIC CITY: Hillary Clinton campaigns in Atlantic City today, and this morning her campaign is up with a new online video highlighting Donald Trump's business record in the city, ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ notes. WATCH: https://youtu.be/GduZeyk2mNk Clinton’s speech today will take place in front of the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. She will be introduced by a small business person who says he or she has been negatively impacted by Trump's work in the city. Meanwhile, Donald Trump campaigns today in Ohio with potential running mate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
--TRUMP ACCUSES CLINTON OF BRIBERY: Trump expressed disbelief at the FBI’s recommendation that the Department of Justice not pursue charges against Hillary Clinton for the use of a private email server while she served as President Obama’s secretary of state and suggested that Clinton bribed the attorney general. "I'll tell you that we have a rigged system folks," Trump said during a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina last night. Trump accused Clinton of bribing Attorney General Loretta Lynch with the reported promise of staying on during her administration. "So Hillary said today, at least according to what I saw on television, which you can't always believe. I actually found it hard to believe she'd said this, but she said today that we may consider the attorney general to go forward. That's like a bribe, isn't it? Isn't it sort of a bribe? I think it's a bribe,” Trump said. More from ABC’s JOHN SANTUCCI, CANDACE SMITH and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI: http://abcn.ws/29kp5nX
--FACT CHECK: Clinton has not said publicly that she would consider retaining Lynch. Trump presumably was referring to a New York Times article, quoting Democratic sources suggesting Clinton may be open to doing so if elected. Lynch has said that she will accept the decision of Department of Justice prosecutors as to whether to file charges against Clinton. The DOJ has not yet made a decision.
--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: FBI Director James Comey didn’t find enough evidence to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. But he found just the right amount of evidence – and presented it in just the right way – to hasten something with an arguably higher bar: Republican unity. Comey’s findings amounted to a point-by-point repudiation of the explanations Clinton has used for more than a year to explain her email use. More broadly, they combine with the optics around them (the Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch meeting, President Obama’s campaign debut) to help construct a powerful argument against Clinton that – to quote Donald Trump – show that the system is “absolutely, totally rigged.” (It was no mistake that House Speaker Paul Ryan, who earlier in the day criticized Trump for the Star of David Tweet, was on television by nightfall to question whether Clinton should even get intelligence briefings.) It’s a scenario we’ve seen play out before: Republicans find a way to sing in unison when it comes to opposing Clinton. And it just so happens that for all of Trump’s flaws as a candidate, this is a song he’s adept as writing.
YESTERDAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI
FBI ON CLINTON E-MAIL USE: NO CHARGES, BUT ‘EVIDENCE OF POTENTIAL VIOLATIONS’. FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday his agency is not recommending that charges be brought against Hillary Clinton after a yearlong investigation into her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state. “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey said in a news conference, ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY and GENEVA SANDS report. “In looking back at our investigations into the mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts,” he added. http://abcn.ws/29kTi4X COMEY’S FULL REMARKS: http://abcn.ws/29vvE6J
TRUMP, CLINTON CAMPAIGNS WEIGH IN: “Because of our rigged system that holds the American people to one standard and people like Hillary Clinton to another, it does not look like she will be facing the criminal charges that she deserves,” Trump said in the statement responding to FBI’s finding, ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI notes. Clinton's spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement released Tuesday, "We are pleased that the career officials handling this case have determined that no further action by the department is appropriate. As the secretary has long said, it was a mistake to use her personal email, and she would not do it again. We are glad that this matter is now resolved." http://abcn.ws/29jo5Rc
FACT CHECK -- FBI PROBE CONTRADICTS CLINTON'S CLAIM SHE NEVER SENT CLASSIFIED EMAILS. Tuesday's FBI announcement underscores discrepancies between what the agency found in its yearlong investigation and what Clinton has publicly said about her email use. Even though the FBI said it "cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges," there were several areas where Comey made it clear that Clinton and her team mishandled her email. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY and JUSTIN FISHEL have more. http://abcn.ws/29gfsWl
ANALYSIS -- TALE OF TWO TARMACS SHOW PROMISE AND PERIL OF HILLARY CLINTON’S CAMPAIGN. In a whirlwind of a week, two tarmacs on opposite sides of the country told tales of the promise and the peril of Hillary Clinton and her candidacy. Eight days ago, former President Bill Clinton sought out Attorney General Loretta Lynch when he found out they were both at the Phoenix airport. They chatted amiably for roughly half an hour, even though FBI agents -- who technically work for Lynch’s Justice Department -- would be interviewing his wife about their email investigation just a few days later. Fast-forward to Tuesday morning. In Washington, as Air Force One sat a few miles away to take her to a campaign event alongside President Barack Obama, the director of the FBI, James Comey, issued a point-by-point repudiation of Hillary Clinton and her handling of emails during her time at the State Department. Few minds will be changed by what played out on two tarmacs and beyond over the past few days. But the events encapsulate concerns over Clinton’s candidacy, even as she employs the most powerful of surrogates to advance her campaign message, ABC’s RICK KLEIN writes. http://abcn.ws/29hawwy
WHAT’S NEXT? -- CAN CLINTON STILL FACE CHARGES AFTER FBI FINDING? The FBI yesterday said that Hillary Clinton and her staff were "extremely careless" in handling classified data on her private email server but stopped short of recommending criminal charges against the former secretary of state. The discovery of her email practices and the FBI investigation could still have an impact on the presumptive Democratic nominee's campaign. ABC’s MARGARET CHADBOURN and GENEVA SANDS note why the FBI is not recommending charges, what happens next, and what’s at stake. http://abcn.ws/29uFPIT
'FIRED UP' OBAMA TEARS INTO TRUMP AT CLINTON RALLY. A "fired up" President Barack Obama took the stage in North Carolina Tuesday to stump for his onetime political rival Hillary Clinton, being greeted by the crowd with thunderous applause. Clinton, fresh off the news that the FBI didn't recommend charges against her for using a private email server, took the stage first to chants of "Hillary, Hillary, Hillary." She said she has known Obama in many roles and called him "a friend," ABC’s JOSH HASKELL and LIZ KREUTZ report. Obama took a swipe at Republicans who "don't really know what the guy is talking about," making another reference to Trump. "You ask them, they're all like, 'I don't know.' Then they kinda duck the other way. Am I joking? No." Going a step further, Obama told the crowd in North Carolina, a battleground state, that "this isn't even a choice because the other side has nothing to offer you." When the crowd booed as Obama made reference to the presumptive GOP nominee, the president shot back, "Don't boo, vote." have more. http://abcn.ws/29lIN16
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
INSIDE DONALD TRUMP'S TWITTER OPERATION. The image of a six-pointed star featured in a now-deleted tweet by Donald Trump has angered some people, who have slammed it as anti-Semitic. Trump’s camp has vehemently denied such intent in the anti–Hillary Clinton tweet, but it’s not the first time the campaign has had to defend its social media activity amid a storm of controversy. There have been other times Trump has been criticized for retweeting or featuring edited photos by Twitter users who appear to be supporters. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY has more. http://abcn.ws/29fg8q6
@agearan: Exclusive: Clinton to propose 3-month hiatus for repayment of federal student loans http://wapo.st/29iTjTe
@RuthMarcus: My take: Why Comey’s remarks on the Clinton email case were extraordinary http://wapo.st/29k3C9E
@nycjim: Did FBI director exceed his authority in Clinton emails? Alan Dershowitz writes for @thehill http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/286614-did-fbi-director-comey-exceed-his-authority …
@ChadPergram: Judiciary Chair Goodlatte has questions for Comey about the handling/conclusion of the Clinton email scandal: https://judiciary.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/070516_Letter-to-Director-Comey.pdf …