Speaking from the Trump SoHo hotel in downtown Manhattan Wednesday morning, Donald Trump laid out all the ways that Hillary Clinton would destroy the country — and possibly the world — if she were to become president.
"Her decisions spread death, destruction, and terrorism everywhere she touched," Trump said, reading from a teleprompter during the 45-minute speech. "Hillary Clinton has perfected the politics of personal profit and theft."
She is also, he said, "a world-class liar."
Trump was originally scheduled to deliver the speech on June 13, but decided to postpone it after the Orlando mass shooting on June 12. Yesterday, Clinton gave her own speech attacking Trump on his business record, foreign policy ideas, and personal conduct. She repeatedly stressed how dangerous it would be if he were president, calling him "reckless and careless."
Trump seemed to relish the opportunity to hit her back just as hard. Some of the biggest applause lines came when he called Clinton out for the same character traits that she accused him of having.
"She lacks the temperament, the judgment, and the competence to lead," Trump said. "She simply lacks the integrity and temperament to serve."
Trump took pains to differentiate himself from his rival but did not offer much in the way of specifics. On immigration, Trump said, "I only want to admit people who share our values and love our people. Hillary Clinton wants to bring in people who believe women should be enslaved and gays put to death."
Trump did not elaborate on how he would distinguish immigrants who "share our values" and "love our people" from those who don't.
The presumptive Republican nominee described Clinton's many perceived failings when she was Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, starting with Benghazi.
Ambassador Chris Stevens "was left helpless to die as Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed," Trump said, describing the night when militants attacked the US diplomatic compound in Libya and killed the Stevens, along with two American servicemen.
"She started the war that put him in Libya, denied him the security he asked for, then left him there to die," Trump added as he gripped the podium.
Trump's claim that Clinton was asleep and missed the 3am call from Stevens has been debunked, both by Clinton and others who were involved in the immediate response to the Benghazi attack. Trump himself supported US intervention in Libya before he ran for president.
During his speech, Trump repeatedly cited the book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, by Peter Schweizer, while describing how Clinton was the "most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency."
"She gets rich making you poor," Trump said, attacking her for supporting international trade deals with China. "She sold out our workers, and our country, for Beijing."
He also blamed Clinton for the creation of the Islamic State, the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, the rise of Islamic terrorism around the world, and Iran's rise to become the "dominant power in the Middle East and on the road to nuclear weapons."
"In 2009, before Hillary Clinton was sworn in, it was a different world," Trump noted.
His campaign has endured a bad couple of days. On Monday, he fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, in the latest of a series of staff shakeups. In addition, campaign finance filings released earlier this week also revealed that the Trump campaign is severely cash-strapped and struggling to raise enough funds to keep it afloat.
Hours after Trump's speech, Clinton's camp sent out an email response, calling it a "litany of hypocritical attacks, nutty conspiracy theories, and outright lies."
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