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Trump Communications Adviser Weighs In On State Of Campaign

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

With Election Day exactly one week off, we're going to hear the closing arguments that the candidates are making. We have reached out to both campaigns. Hillary Clinton's team has not yet made available anyone who could respond to the FBI investigation into her emails. We hope to have someone from the campaign on the show tomorrow.

We're joined now by Jason Miller, a senior communications adviser to the Trump campaign. Welcome to the program.

JASON MILLER: Well, thank you very much for having me.

SHAPIRO: How would you describe in just a couple of sentences the closing argument that Donald Trump is making to voters in this last week?

MILLER: Mr. Trump's closing argument is, if you're looking for a change, if you're looking for something to vote for - not just someone but something that will directly benefit your life, that will directly keep our families and our communities safe, someone who will reignite this economy, then Donald Trump should be your choice for president.

SHAPIRO: He spent the last couple of weeks arguing that this election is rigged, and now that polls have shown some tightening, he's no longer saying that it's rigged. He is also asking people to keep an eye on the polls, questioning whether ballots will be properly counted. He is really raising questions about whether this democratic vote will be fair and above board.

MILLER: Well, and as we all should be very vigilant to making sure that we have a secure and legal election. It's our belief that a bigger voter turnout and more participation actually helps Mr. Trump. We want people to be out there and voting. We just want to make sure that people are only voting one time and that elections are being conducted in a forthright and honest way.

And I think that's good that we're calling attention to this issue. And really what Mr. Trump's doing is putting anyone who might even think about participating in illegal behavior - putting them on notice that people are going to be watching in the run up to Election Day.

SHAPIRO: The pattern of complaining when things are not going your way seems consistent with the handling of FBI Director James Comey. In July when Comey announced that Hillary Clinton was not going to be indicted, the Trump campaign sent out a fundraising email saying this is a disgusting example of just how badly the career politicians have rigged the system.

And on Saturday, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tweeted about Comey, suggesting he is a partisan interfering with the election, is dangerous and unfair.

MILLER: He made very clear that he was upset with the decision back in July, that he believes that charges should have been brought against Hillary Clinton. And then with the news that came out on Friday, what Mr. Trump said was that he's glad that the FBI is taking steps to right the wrong to continue this investigation.

SHAPIRO: But saying that you're upset with the decision or you're pleased with the decision is different from saying, the system is rigged against me when it's not working for me and then when things go more your way saying the system is terrific.

MILLER: Our government has become politicized in a way that many of us have never seen in our lifetimes. And to give you a specific example, the way that we've seen this interplay between the Clinton Foundation, the State Department - everything from the immaculate meeting on the tarmac in Phoenix between Attorney General Lynch and former President Clinton - the whole thing stinks, and there's a certain group of people that continue to get rich and work off of the system.

That's part of the reason why Mr. Trump is running - to go and break up that rigged system and make sure we're sending power back to the people and it's not just insiders controlling it all.

SHAPIRO: You've also been very critical of reporting on Donald Trump's financial dealings, and he is the first candidate since 1976 not to release his tax returns. It seems that you could put all those questions to rest about whether he's paid taxes, about whether he's giving to charities just by releasing that information.

MILLER: Well, at the advice of both Mr. Trump's accounts and his lawyers, they've said since you're under a routine audit, don't go and put that out there until the...

SHAPIRO: But why not release earlier years for which he's not under audit?

MILLER: Because everything's all tied together. So...

SHAPIRO: How so?

MILLER: Once the audit is completed, then those will be released.

SHAPIRO: Just this week, Donald Trump has been arguing that if Hillary Clinton is elected, she will be so embroiled in scandal from day one that she'll be unable to govern. The Trump University case goes to trial November 28. This is the class action fraud suit where Trump has criticized the judge for his Mexican heritage. So wouldn't your candidate also be caught up in scandals from day one if he wins?

MILLER: Absolutely not. Mr. Trump's going to be ready to lead with his change agenda as soon as he gets in. I'm confident that Mr. Trump will be vindicated with all of this. But again, on that, I'll leave that to the people who are dealing with that issue, and I'm focused more on the campaign.

SHAPIRO: Jason Miller is a senior communications adviser for the Trump campaign. Thank you for joining us.

MILLER: All right, thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.