Despite her agreement that "strong vetting" was necessary, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton early Monday accused Donald Trump of inspiring acts of terrorism through his rhetoric, saying her GOP rival is turning the fight against terror into a religious war with Islam that threatens U.S. safety.
Speaking at a press conference to address the blasts in the New York area over the weekend, The Hill reports Clinton was asked (a rather softball question) whether sympathizers of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Russia are looking to sow chaos that might influence the presidential campaign.
“We know that a lot of rhetoric we’ve heard from Donald Trump has been seized on by terrorists, in particular ISIS, because they’re looking to make this into a war against Islam rather than a war against jihadists. Violent terrorists, people whose number in the tens of thousands, not tens of millions, they want to use that to recruit more fighters to turn this into a religious conflict,” Clinton responded.
“That’s why I’ve been very clear: We’re going after the bad guys and we’re going to get them, but we’re not going after an entire religion and give the terrorists exactly what its wanting in order for them to enhance their position,” she added. “Second, we know Donald Trump’s comments have been used online in recruitment for terrorists.”
Clinton pointed to remarks from former CIA Director Michael Hayden and Matt Olsen, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, who have accused Trump of giving terrorists recruitment material by calling for a blanket ban on Muslims entering the country.
“The kind of language and rhetoric Trump has used is giving comfort to our adversaries,” Clinton said.
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Full Q&A below...
Her remarks followed Trump's earlier comments that "we're allowing these people to come into our country and destroy our country and make it unsafe for people... this is only going to get worse."
And Trump added later in the day:
"Hillary Clinton's weakness while she was Secretary of State, has emboldened terrorists all over the world to attack the U.S., even on our own soil. They are hoping and praying that Hillary Clinton becomes President - so that they can continue their savagery and murder."