Mr Donald Trump turned the corner on a vicious presidential primary process Tuesday night, pledging to visit a new round of political horrors on Hillary and Bill Clinton.
The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting said that ‘probably Monday of next week’ he would deliver a ‘major speech’ featuring a discussion of ‘all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons.’
‘I think you’re going to find it very informative and very, very interesting,’ he said, sporting an impish grin. ‘I wonder if the press wil want to atend. Who knows?’
‘The Clintons have turned the politics of personal enrichment into an art form for themselves,’ he claimed on the night when the final gusher of GOP convention delegates hit his campaign.
‘They’ve made hundreds of millions of dollars selling access, selling favors, selling government contracts. And I mean hundreds of millions of dollars.’
‘Hillary Clinton turned the State Department into her private hedge fund. The Russians, the Saudis, the Chinese all gave money to Bill and Hillary and got favorable treatment in return,’ he charged. ‘It’s a sad day in america when foreign governments with deep pockets have more influence in our own country than our great citizens.’
FORECAST FOR MONDAY IS PAIN: Donald Trump said Tuesday in an election night address that he would deliver a speech devoted to Bill and Hillary Clinton next week
SCRIPTED: Trump’s teleprompter-aided speech was just the fifth of his short political career, compared with nearly 200 rallies and other appearances where he has spoken off-the-cuff
Trump also clobbered Hillary, whose own delegate total reached Democratic nomination-clinching numbers, by drawing new attention to her ‘totally illegal private server,’ an email arrangement that he said was ‘designed to keep her corrupt dealings out of the public record.’
Among Republicans, Tuesday night belonged to Trump. Unfortunately for him, so did the daylight hours.
Trump National Golf Club Westchester in scenic Briarcliff, New York provided him with a lush election night backdrop and a temporary safe harbor from a chaotic day of Republican angst and Democratic recriminations over a new round of charges that cast the GOP’s brash standard bearer as a racist.
Taking no questions from reporters and speaking with the aid of the teleprompters he has mocked Hillary Clinton for using, Trump boasted that he had received more primary votes than any GOP campaign in history.’
And seeming to sense both his moment in history and his party’s nervous jitters, Trump pledged: ‘I undertand the responsibilty of carrying the mantle and I will never ever let you down. I will make you proud.’
Before exiting the state with his family to the strains of Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions,’ Trump made his case for a once-again-united GOP and pressed liberal supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary to flock to his banner.
He said he expects his scant and inconsistent polling advantage to grow in the general election ‘with all of her many problems and the tremendous mistakes that she has made – and she has made tremendous mistakes.’
‘To all of those Bernie Sanders voters who have been left out in the cold by a rigged system of superdelegates, we welcome you with open arms,’ he said.
In a halting, measured delivery that betrayed his lack of comfort with delivering prepared texts, Trump hit nearly all his campaign highlights including jobs, immigration, energy, trade and education reform.
But he made no mention of his plan to build a wall on America’s southern border and force Mexico to pay for it.
Missing, too, was his proposal to temporarily ban non-citizen Muslims from entering the U.S. while the government reassesses its terrorism vulnerabilities.
And while Trump blamed President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s State Department for creating the conditions that led to the growth of the ISIS terror army, he resisted the temptation to guarantee ths Islamist sect’s destruction.
In the place of the signature Trump belligerence was a softer view into the human cost of policies he has so far attacked with his rhetorical jackhammer.
He had ‘seen the suffering in people’s eyes … whose manufacturing jobs, literally, these jobs have virtually disappeared,’ he said.
‘I’ve embraced the victims of illegal immigration, moms and ddas who have had to bury their own children because of people who shouldn’t have been in the country.’
‘I’ve visited the crumbling cities and the struggling schools,’ Trump continued, sounding almost Obamaesque in his critique of America’s disintegrating physical infrastructure.
Trump offered little insight into the foreign policy views that could provide Clinton with her best opportunity to contrast her background with his.
He did, however, renew his complaint that the Obama administration has allowed Iran to become a ‘dominant’ force in the Middle East, on the cusp of nuclear status.
‘They are dominant, folks. We have made them that way,’ he said.
Then Trump took a breath and wagged a finger.
‘Better hope I’m president!’ he said, in a rare off-script moment.
The presumptive presidential nominee scooped up the lion’s share of the remaining Republican National Convention delegates in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota, padding his lead over an evaporated field.
The billionaire effectively claimed the Republican nomination weeks ago when he won the Indiana primary and his two last challengers dropped out.
But closing out the last of the grueling preliminary statewide elections held symbolic significance for a man who was initially thought to be a political flash in the pan.
The final Trump event of the primary season wasn’t scripted as a free-wheeling press conference like the Trump Tower affair of a week ago, when the billionaire sparred endlessly with reporters over the disposition of a promised $6 million in donations to veterans charities.
That feeding frenzy ended with a bluster-bursting Trump declaring it was a sign of how he would treat a White House press corps.
It seemed genteel and compared with the week that would follow.
The mini-scandal replacing Trump’s fundraising clash revolved around 11 days of claims that a Hispanic jurist assigned to hear a clas-action lawsuit against him can’t judge him fairly because of his platform on choking off illegal immigration and walling off Mexico from the United States.
Democrats let loose cries of racism. Hispanic protest groups clobbered peaceful Trump rally-goers with blunt objects and raw eggs. And Republican officeholders twitched nervously.
The never-shy real estate tycoon spent most of Tuesday avoiding the spotlight – and not tweeting – as the drumbeat of criticism from inside his own party grew louder and he was forced to issue an only moderately conciliatory statement.
Missing were words like ‘sorry,’ ‘mistake’ and ‘regret.’ But he maintained that a series of adverse rulings from Judge Gonzalo Curiel in the case against his now-defunct real estate seminars had tested his faith in a fair judiciary.
Trump claimed his zeal for a fair shake in the courts had been ‘misconstrued’ as an argument for a racialist federal bench.
But just five days earlier he had declared to The Wall Street Journal that the Indiana-born but Mexican-blooded Curiel had an ‘absolute conflict’ of interest, given Trump’s own habit of poking the bear to America’s south.
Before he could graft a conciliatory double-down, however, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois rescinded his March statement of support. Kirk faces a tough re-election fight in a blue state.
And House Speaker Paul Ryan was forced to thread a congressional needle, condemning Trump’s sin while pointedly refusing to disown the sinner.
He called Trump’s claim of race-based unfairness a ‘textbook definition of a racist comment,’ but insisted heis job was to hold the Republican congressional coalition together – not to read Trump’s heart.
A Trump aide told DailyMail.com before Tuesday night’s speech that his boss wanted ‘to move beyond today and get on to campaigning against Hillary.’
‘All this crap from the Democrats and the mainstream media is a distraction,’ he said on condition of anonymity. ‘But it sure would be nice if the Republicans didn’t jump in the water with them.’
He added after Trump left the country club ballroom that his boss’s renewed attention on ‘dismantling’ Hillary Clinton should surprise no one.
‘Mr. Trump has been looking forward to this for a long time. She certainly has it coming, right?’ the aide said.
And of the Democrats’ collective attacks on Trump’s judicial scandal, he added: ‘If the Clintons think he’s going to dry up and blow away in the face of a little criticism on TV, they don’t know the man.’
Tuesday’s was just the fifth address Trump has delivered with the aid of teleprompters since launching his campaign a year ago, and the first on an election night.
As was the case with Trump’s other election-night country club speeches, socialites vied for space with campaign staffers and an army of journalists that dwarfed both.
Trump National Westchester members back-slapped and waited patiently for photos with Omarosa, the famously combative reality-TV star made famous by the original ‘Apprentice’ series.
Campaign chairman Paul Manafort checked and re-checked microphones, podium and prompters and eyed the alignment of a half-dozen American flags suspiciously.
And New Hampshire State Rep. Al Baldasaro, Trump’s designated U.S. Marine retiree, struck a jarhead pose as he jostled for space in the front rows with the red Trump hat-wearing faithful.
Last week he berated the media, telling the assembled journalists in Manhattan to ‘Get your hedas outta your butts’ and stop focusing on veterans-charity shenanigans.
But on Tuesday he seemed to know how lucky he was to not be a Hispanic lawyer.
‘How you doin,’ he told one tweenage girl. ‘Isn’t this just magical? We’re gonna make America great again. Yessir.’