Vowing that his foreign policy would “emphasize diplomacy, not destruction,” Donald Trump went on the offensive Wednesday against Hillary Clinton, accusing the Democratic nominee of being “trigger-happy” and “very unstable.”
Trump declared that Clinton’s legacy in Iraq, Libya and Syria “has produced only turmoil and suffering and death” during his speech to the Union League of Philadelphia, hours before he is set to appear after the former secretary of state at the Commander in Chief Forum in New York City.
“The price of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will total approximately $6 trillion. We could have rebuilt our country over and over and over again. Yet, after all this money was spent and lives lost, Clinton’s policies as secretary of state have left the Middle East in more disarray than ever before, not even close. Had we done nothing, we would have been in a far better position,” Trump said, going on to decry Clinton’s standing elsewhere in the world.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who on Tuesday Trump suggested would rather have Clinton as president, “has absolutely no respect for” her, the Republican nominee declared.
“Sometimes it seemed like there wasn’t a country in the Middle East that Hillary Clinton didn’t want to invade, intervene in, or topple. She is trigger-happy and very unstable, whether we like it or not, that’s what’s going on,” Trump said, pronouncing Clinton “also reckless, so reckless, in fact, that she put her emails on an illegal server that our enemies could easily hack and probably have.”
Clinton’s campaign hit back later on Wednesday with Clinton’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri saying in a statement, “Like a schoolyard bully who can’t rely on facts or issues, Trump has only one way of responding to legitimate criticism of his own vulnerabilities: ‘I know you are, but what am I?'”
Trump went on during his event to also knock Clinton for her email scandal. Referring to a Clinton computer specialist’s use of BleachBit software to wipe her email archive, which, Trump remarked, “is basically acid, and this is going to acid-wash her emails? Who would do this? And nobody does it because of the expense.” (BleachBit is free to download, however.)
Trump followed that detail, provided in the latest FBI documents pertaining to the Clinton investigation released last week, with another, remarking that the former secretary of state did not know that a “C” marking on a document denoted that it was classified at the “confidential” level.
“If she can’t remember such crucial events, and information, honestly, she is totally unfit to be our commander and chief. Totally unfit,” Trump said. “I have a feeling she did remember and she does know and that also makes her unfit. Her conduct is simply disqualifying. She talks about her experience but Hillary Clinton’s only foreign policy experience ended up in absolute failure. Everywhere she got involved, things got worse.”
Trump offered 10 separate proposals in his address, which the campaign billed as speech on “military readiness.” Among those prescriptions, Trump declared that he would instruct Congress to eliminate the sequester on defense spending. Even so, Trump in 2013 called concerns about sequestration “overexaggerated.”
Other proposals include an active Army of around 540,000, a Marine Corps of 36 battalions, a Navy approaching 350 surface ships and an Air Force of at least 1,200 fighter aircraft, in addition to developing a “state of the art missile defense system.” Trump was light on details, however, on how he would pay for the proposals.
Tying Clinton’s email woes to his security plans, Trump said that she “has taught us really how vulnerable we are in cyber hacking.”
“That’s probably the only thing that we’ve learned from Hillary Clinton,” Trump said, to whoops and cheers in the audience. “Which is why one of the first things we must do is to enforce all classification rules and to enforce all laws relating to the handling of classified information.”