Trump’s “Lock Her Up” campaign against Hillary Clinton is the perfect example of how this loop works. Conspiracy theorists say that Clinton belongs in prison, the Trump campaign embraces the theme—in a manner unprecedented in modern politics—and then everyone is disappointed and angry that Clinton isn’t actually getting locked up.
In the latest example, Trump called on Monday for a special prosecutor to investigate any illicit coordination between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation. Trump told an audience in Akron, Ohio: “Some former prosecutors have even suggested that the coordination between the pay-for-play State Department and the Clinton Foundation constitute a clear example of RICO—Racketeering, Influence, Corrupt Organization—enterprise.”
So who are these former prosecutors saying that Clinton was involved in RICO violations? One of them may very well be Rudy Giuliani, a highly visible Trump campaign surrogate. “She is the consummate, corrupt, Washington insider. And she is thoroughly corrupt, and so is the Clinton Foundation,” Giuliani declared on Fox News Sunday. “If I were back in my old job as U.S. Attorney, I would probably indict the Clinton Foundation as a racketeering enterprise.”
So there you have the Trump campaign’s primary citation for its accusations against Clinton: the Trump campaign itself.