Sunday 4 December 2016

'Isil praying to Allah for Trump to be president,' claims Clinton

Harriet Alexander in New York

Published 09/09/2016 | 02:30

Donald Trump takes the stage with his daughter Ivanka during a campaign town hall meeting in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Donald Trump takes the stage with his daughter Ivanka during a campaign town hall meeting in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hillary Clinton has said that leaders of the Islamic State (Isil) are hoping that Donald Trump becomes president, and are praying: "Please, Allah, make Trump president of America."

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Speaking on Israeli television yesterday morning - a carefully chosen outlet for her remarks about the Middle East conflict and Mr Trump's candidacy - Mrs Clinton said Isil was "rooting" for her Republican rival.

She discussed an article for 'Time' magazine, published on Wednesday evening, by Matthew Olsen, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center. In it he argues that Isil is working "to advocate for Trump".

Gift

"I found it even surprising how clear and compelling the case was where he quoted Isil spokespeople rooting for Donald Trump's victory because Trump has made Islam and Muslims a part of his campaign - and basically Matt Olsen argues that the jihadists see this as a great gift," said Mrs Clinton, using another acronym for the Islamist group.

"They are saying, 'Oh, please Allah, make Trump president of America'."

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte. Photo: AP
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte. Photo: AP

She added: "So I'm not interested in giving aid and comfort to their evil ambitions. I want to defeat them. I want to end their reign of terror. I don't want them to feel as though they can be getting more recruits because of our politics."

A little later, addressing the press before boarding her campaign plane in New York state, she once again referenced the article. And she added that she would prioritise killing or capturing Isil's leader, in the same way that President Barack Obama sought al-Qa'ida's mastermind.

"We should make it a top priority to hunt down the leader of Isis, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and bring him to justice, just as we did with Osama bin Laden," she said. "I believe it will send a resounding message that nobody directs or inspires attacks against the United States and gets away with it."

Mrs Clinton reiterated her criticism of Mr Trump's "secret" formula for how to combat Isil - saying that "he clearly has no plan".

And she once again expressed her bafflement at the 70-year-old's continued support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, describing it as "bizarre" and "astonishing," and adding that his favouring of Mr Putin over Mr Obama was "insulting and scary".

"It suggests that he'll let Putin do whatever Putin wants to do," she said. "What would Ronald Reagan say about a Republican nominee who rubbishes the generals and heaps praise on another president?"

Trump earlier declared that Putin had been a better leader than Obama, as the Republican nominee used a televised forum to argue he was best equipped to reassert America's global leadership.

Security

"Every Republican holding or seeking office in this country should be asked if they agree with Donald Trump about these statements," said Clinton.

Her comments followed a national security forum where the presidential candidates made back-to-back appearances.

The Democrat was repeatedly challenged on her controversial email use at the State Department and her vote as a senator for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

She also flushed out several national security priorities if she is elected, including trying to take out the leader of Isil and vowing to defeat the extremist group without putting US troops on the ground in Iraq or Syria.

Mr Trump suggested at the event that US generals had been stymied by the policies of Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton, who served as the Democratic president's first secretary of state.

Telegraph.co.uk

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