Home Clinton calls on Republicans to respond to Trump comments on generals, Putin

Clinton calls on Republicans to respond to Trump comments on generals, Putin


hillary clintonThis morning, Hillary Clinton held a press conference where she called on all Republicans to respond to Donald Trump’s remarks at the Commander-in-Chief Forum.

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

Clinton’s opening remarks, as transcribed, below:

“Good morning, good morning, good morning everyone. Last night, I was very glad to be able to begin a conversation with the American people and offer some of my thoughts about ISIS, Iran, and how we can reform the VA system to provide better care for our vets, and I’m honored that in the last 24 hours, more retired generals and admirals have decided to endorse my campaign. 

To focus more on these crucial challenges, tomorrow I’m convening a meeting of bipartisan national security leaders and experts, including former Secretaries of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano, General John Allen, former acting director of the CIA, Michael Morell, and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis, and others. We will discuss how to intensify our efforts to defeat ISIS and keep our country safe. To that end, I want to underscore something that I mentioned last night: 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. As with that operation, getting al-Baghdadi will require a focused effort driven at the highest levels, but I believe it will send a resounding message that nobody directs or inspires attacks against the United States and gets away with it. Let me be clear, last night was yet another test, and Donald Trump failed yet again.

We saw more evidence that he is temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be Commander in Chief. He trash talked American generals, saying that they’d been ‘reduced to rubble.’ He suggested he would fire them and replace them with his hand-picked generals. He attacked dozens of former flag officers by saying that quote, ‘We’ve been losing for us for a long time.’ That’s how he talks about distinguished men and women who have spent their lives serving our country, sacrificing for us. That’s how he would act as Commander in Chief. Meanwhile, bizarrely once again, he praised Russia’s strongman, Vladimir Putin, even taking the astonishing step of suggesting that he prefers the Russian president to our American president.

Now, that is not just unpatriotic and insulting to the people of our country as well as to our Commander in Chief. It is scary because it suggests he will let Putin do whatever Putin wants to do and then make excuses for him. I was just thinking about all of the presidents that would just be looking at one another in total astonishment. What would Ronald Reagan say about a Republican nominee who attacks America’s generals and praised Russia’s president? I think we know the answer.

And when asked how he would stop the spread of global terrorism, Trump’s answer was simply, ‘Take the oil.’ The United States of America does not invade other countries to plunder and pillage; we don’t send our brave men and women around the world to steal oil, and that’s not even getting into the absurdity of what it would involve — massive infrastructure, large numbers of troops, many years on the ground. Of course, Trump hasn’t thought through any of that. Every Republican holding or seeking office in this country should be asked if they agree with Donald Trump about these statements. Now one thing you didn’t hear from Trump last night is any plan to take on ISIS, one of the biggest threats facing our country.

He says his plan is still a secret, but the truth is, he simply doesn’t have one, and that’s not only dangerous, it should be disqualifying. So I have a very different vision for how we keep our country safe and strong, I respect the men and women who put their lives on the line to serve America. I will work with our allies to defeat ISIS, and I will hold true to our country’s most cherished values. Even with all of the attention being paid to the campaign, we cannot forget how important this decision is.

This weekend is the 15th anniversary of 9/11. I will never forget the horror of that day, but I will never forget either the victims and survivors and the great first responders and emergency responders that I met with and served and worked for as senator from New York. That’s what kept me working so hard in the Senate on behalf of 9/11 families. That’s who I was thinking of 10 years later in the White House Situation Room with President Obama when the decision was made to bring Osama bin Laden to justice. That’s the kind of Commander in Chief I will be — someone who will bring us together in common purpose to keep our people safe and our country strong.”



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.