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So It Begins: Donald Trump Releases Aggressive Attack Ad Against Hillary Clinton

After big primary wins on Tuesday night, Trump appears to be shifting focus to the general election after releasing an anti-Clinton ad and saying he'll skip the next debate.
Photo de Erik S. Lesser/EPA

The general election may be here at last.

Donald Trump is turning his sights on Hillary Clinton, just a day after the frontrunners won big victories in several states, solidifying the path to their parties' respective nominations.

Trump posted an aggressive attack ad on his Instagram account this morning, criticizing Clinton on foreign policy, an area she's tried to stake her campaign on as a former secretary of state.


The ad shows clips of Russian President Vladimir Putin tackling an opponent in Judo and an Islamic State militant pointing a gun at the camera, raising the issue of the threats America faces. "The Democrats have the perfect answer…" the ad says before cutting to a clip of Clinton barking like a dog.

The clip of Clinton was pulled from a campaign event in Nevada earlier this year, where she told a story about an unusual old campaign ad from her days in Arkansas, that featured a dog barking every time a politician made a false statement.

The ad comes as both Clinton and Trump are increasingly focused on the general election, rather than their primary opponents. Each candidate holds a solid delegate lead, though Clinton has a larger margin against Senator Bernie Sanders than Trump does against his Republican opponents.

Clinton has increasingly shifted the focus of her speeches away from Sanders and focused on Trump as the Republican Party's nominee, using the spectre of that possibility in campaign emails to raise money from her supporters.

But Trump's shift is much more recent. In a CNN interview Wednesday morning following his wins in three states (and a tie in Missouri) last night, Trump called Clinton an "embarrassment" and went hard after the presumptive Democratic nominee.

"She doesn't have strength, she doesn't have the stamina, I think she would — she talks about defeating our enemies. Well where has she been for the last year?" Trump said. "We can't even beat ISIS. She's not defeating our enemies. She wouldn't know how to defeat the enemy. It's ridiculous."

Also on Wednesday, Trump announced that he would skip a Fox News debate this coming Monday against his two remaining primary opponents. "I think we've had enough debates," Trump said.

Trump added that he'll be speaking at AIPAC, a policy conference put on by a pro-Israel lobbying group of the same name, that night instead. Clinton is also scheduled to speak at AIPAC next week.

Trump's decision caused Ohio Governor John Kasich to pull out of the debate as well, forcing Fox News to cancel the debate.

Follow Sarah Mimms on Twitter: @SarahMMimms