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Donald Trump speaking during a campaign rally in New Hampshire. Evan Vucci/AP/Press Association Images

Trump suggests that Hillary's leaked emails may be linked to killing of Iranian scientist

The Republican presidential nominee sent a tweet yesterday referencing the disappearance of missing scientist Shahram Amiri.

REPUBLICAN DONALD TRUMP is suggesting that rival Hillary Clinton’s emails may be responsible for the death of an Iranian nuclear scientist who was executed for spying for the United States.

Hours after an unusually disciplined speech on his economic plan for the country, Trump, using the “people are saying” sentence structure he often favours to make accusations, tweeted last night:

The tweet reads:

Many people are saying that the Iranians killed the scientist who helped the U.S. because of Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails.

He didn’t say which people he meant. The FBI has said there is no evidence that Clinton’s emails were hacked due to her use of a private account and server during her tenure as secretary of state.

Tweeted back Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill:

“‘Many people are saying’='I made this up.’”

Merrill added that after Trump’s morning speech to the Detroit Economic Club – and sticking closely to his script – “the muzzle was bound to come off”.

Trump’s speech was designed in part to reassure Republicans unnerved by a disastrous week of self-inflicted feuds with an assortment of people, from the Muslim American parents of a US soldier killed in Iraq to the leaders of Trump’s own party.

Clinton’s campaign cast his tweet last night as evidence that, in the words of spokesman Josh Schwerin, “There’s just no resetting Donald Trump”.

Email link

Trump isn’t the first to suggest there could be a link between Clinton’s emails on her private server and the execution of Shahram Amiri.

Arkansas Republican Sen Tom Cotton said on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday that there “were on Hillary Clinton’s private server, there were conversations among her senior advisers about this gentleman”.

GOP 2016 Convention Senator Tom Cotton. J. Scott Applewhite / AP/Press Association Images J. Scott Applewhite / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

“That goes to show just how reckless and careless her decision was to put that kind of highly classified information on a private server,” he said.

Amiri, an Iranian scientist, defected to the US at the height of Western efforts to thwart Iran’s nuclear program. When he returned in 2010, he was given a hero’s welcome and greeted with flowers by government leaders. Then he mysteriously disappeared.

Amiri’s case indirectly found its way into the spotlight last year with the release of State Department emails sent and received by Clinton.

One email forwarded to Clinton by senior adviser Jake Sullivan on 5 July, 2010 – just 10 days before Amiri returned to Tehran – appears to reference the scientist.

Mideast Iran Mysterious Scientist Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri in 2010. Vahid Salemi / AP/Press Association Images Vahid Salemi / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

“We have a diplomatic, ‘psychological’ issue, not a legal one. Our friend has to be given a way out,” the email by Richard Morningstar, a former State Department special envoy for Eurasian energy, read.

Our person won’t be able to do anything anyway. If he has to leave, so be it.

Another email, sent by Sullivan on 12 July, 2010, appears to obliquely refer to the scientist just hours before his appearance at the Iranian-interests section at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington became widely known.

“The gentleman… has apparently gone to his country’s interests section because he is unhappy with how much time it has taken to facilitate his departure,” Sullivan wrote.

Clinton’s decision to store her emails on a private server in her New York home sparked an FBI investigation and has become a dominant issue in the presidential campaign.

Read: Republican security officials say Trump would be “the most reckless president in American history”

Read: Trump announces changes to tax plan as protesters are removed from venue

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