If Hillary Clinton were a Republican, she would "already be in jail" over the issues surrounding her use of a private email server, presidential candidate Donald Trump said Thursday, and it will probably take a Republican president to be elected to make her face charges.
"Had there not been a [Gen. David] Petraeus, and you know, the catastrophic events that happened around him, it would be a different story," Trump, who is at the top of most major national polls, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program
. "If this were a Republican, somebody would already be indicted."
Clinton's decision to use a private server, said Trump, is "very serious" and "probably criminal. I think almost you could say, almost certainly criminal. And it looks to me like she's not going to be prosecuted. And that's only because the prosecutors are Democrats."
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Trump said that Petraeus, the former CIA director who was fined and sentenced for sharing classified documents with his mistress-biographer, has seen his life destroyed, "but it's like nothing seems to be happening with her, so the world is watching."
He also compared Clinton's case to that of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell
, who was sentenced two years in prison for taking money and gifts in exchange for promoting a dietary supplement while he was in office.
"He didn't violate a state law," said Trump. "The Justice Department decides to go after him and puts him in jail for five, six, seven, eight years."
If a Republican becomes president, Trump said, "hopefully" Clinton will face charges, but then "you have a statute of limitations of five or six years. Hillary might have to win this election because if a Republican wins, I would imagine that their attorney general and their people are going to be their various prosecutors, because it goes on for years after the election."
So, as a result, Clinton "might be fighting for her life in more ways than one," said Trump, as "what she did is probably criminal. I think almost you could say it's almost certainly criminal."
Trump also said that Clinton's woes are leading to her decline, and could result in Vice President Joe Biden being on the rise.
During the interview, news came in about a new Quinnipiac University poll that shows Biden
, who has not yet entered the race, as performing as well or better than the top Republican candidates, including Trump, in general election matchups in the swing states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. However, the poll also shows Trump and Clinton still atop primary polls in those same three key swing states.
"You would think he'd want to get into the race," said Trump of Biden. "He's always wanted to do it. He's run, I guess, two or three times and he's always wanted to do it."
Trump also addressed rumors that his Republican rivals, especially former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, are planning to go negative against him and spend money on television advertising to attack him.
"I heard they're going to spend $3 million," said Trump. "The main names I heard was Jeb Bush; I heard that. I don't know. I bring it up because I want people to be prepared for it, whether they see slanderous ads or ads that maybe aren't true, and in some cases maybe are true. I want people to be prepared for it."
But he warned that the people who have attacked him in the past have suffered at the polls, such as South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has been polling at around 1 percent.
"He attacked me viciously, and he went down to zero," Trump said. "The other is [former Texas Gov. Rick] Perry, who really attacked me very strongly, and went from 4 percent or 5 percent down to 2 percent. It looks like he's going to be out of the race.
"You know, that's really the ultimate compliment when you get attacked and people go down," Trump said. "I assume they would go up to be honest with you. But they both went down. They got tremendous airtime in the attacks."
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