Donald Trump pounced Wednesday on new revelations about emails sent and received by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s staff, accusing Clinton of engaging in “pay for play” tactics.

The Republican presidential nominee made the remarks at a campaign stop in southwestern Virginia a day after he stoked widespread criticism when he appeared to encourage gun owners to take action if Clinton is elected president and appoints judges who support gun control. Trump didn’t address that controversy directly on Wednesday, but he accused the press of blowing stories out of proportion and again charged that Second Amendment rights are “under siege.”

Speaking in Abingdon in front of workers in hard hats holding up signs saying “Trump Digs Coal,” Trump slammed his Democratic rival’s use of a private email server when she was the nation’s top diplomat and her shielding of non-work-related emails from public scrutiny. He also sought to draw attention to newly revealed emails involving State Department staffers during Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.

“A couple of very bad ones came out. And it’s called pay for play. And some of these were really, really bad and illegal,” argued Trump.

On Tuesday, the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch released some new emails involving Clinton’s staff, including one in which a longtime adviser to Bill Clinton wrote to Clinton’s State Department aides requesting a meeting for a longtime Clinton Foundation donor.

“We need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance person re Lebanon,” Doug Band wrote in the email addressed to Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. “As you know he’s a key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp.”

Abedin responded that she would talk to the recent U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, Jeffrey Feltman, who was then serving as acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs. Feltman said he never connected with the billionaire donor to the foundation.

Polls show Clinton leading Trump in all-important Virginia. To compete, Trump will have to try to run up his margin in the commonwealth’s most conservative enclave

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.