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Hillary Clinton attacks Trump's proposed international aid cuts

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Rivals Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shake hands before one of their political debates in the run up to the US presidential election Photo: AP Photo/David Goldman

Rivals Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shake hands before one of their political debates in the run up to the US presidential election Photo: AP Photo/David Goldman

Rivals Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shake hands before one of their political debates in the run up to the US presidential election Photo: AP Photo/David Goldman

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has criticised US president Donald Trump's proposed budget cuts to international aid programmes.

Mrs Clinton, who lost to Mr Trump in the US election last autumn, said "turning our backs on diplomacy won't make our country safer".

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee made the comments in a speech at Georgetown University.

She also took a veiled swipe at the Trump administration - and drew applause from the crowd - when she remarked: "Here I go again, talking about research, evidence and facts."

The remark could be interpreted as a criticism of senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, who earlier this year defended disputed numbers on the president's inauguration crowd as "alternative facts".

Mrs Clinton stressed the need for spending on diplomacy by quoting US defence secretary James Mattis, who said cutting funds for the US state department means he has to buy more ammunition.

The former US first lady and New York senator also focused on advancing the rights of women and girls.

Mrs Clinton said a rising tide of women's rights lifts all nations and stressed that global progress depends on the progress of women.

The former secretary of state during the Obama administration insisted that the Trump government's proposed deep cut of roughly 31% for the state department and US agency for international development would make America less secure while undercutting the country's standing worldwide.

Under the Trump budget proposal unveiled early this month, the United Nations and dozens of its affiliated agencies would face significant cuts and possibly an end to US contributions.

Dramatic reductions in US-led health, development and climate change initiatives would require other donors to fill the gaps.

PA Media