Donald J. Trump, the Republicans’ presumptive nominee for the White House, attacked his primary rival Hillary Clinton on Wednesday as “a world-class liar” who allegedly used her government power to pad her bank account and reward special interests.
“Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency,” Trump declared in a speech from New York, as he sought to change the subject after a string of bad news about his campaign’s fundraising prowess and personnel moves by pointing the finger at Clinton’s long record.
“Hillary Clinton has perfected the politics of personal profit and even theft,” Trump said. “She gets rich making you poor.”
His remarks relied, in part, on negative books by a former Secret Service employee, who cast doubt on Clinton’s temperament during her husband’s tenure in the White House, and another account, Clinton Cash, that explored a link between decisions by her State Department and money that allegedly flowed back to the Clinton Foundation.
Trump lambasted Clinton for the ongoing controversy over her use of a personal email server as secretary of state, which is under investigation by the FBI, and her misstatements about coming under attack in Bosnia, which Trump said “turned out to be young girls handing her flowers.”
He also blasted Clinton for her positions on trade and blamed her for helping unleash “the Pandora’s box of radical Islam.” Trump reminded the crowd, which at points gave him a standing ovation, of the tragedy at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died in September 2012.
“No secretary of state has been more wrong, more often, in more places, than Hillary Clinton,” he said. “Her decisions spread death, destruction and terrorism everywhere she touched.”
Clinton’s campaign responded by drawing a contrast between the barrage from Trump and her own speeches on economic policy and national security in recent days.
“While Hillary Clinton lays out her vision for an America that is stronger together with an economy that works for everyone and not just those at the top, Donald Trump can’t help himself from rehashing and recycling more tired and old nonsense from books that already have been debunked,” Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin said. “Rather than coherently defend his record or his plans, Trump will instead resort to peddling yet more discredited attacks from his ‘look over there’ campaign playbook.”
Correct the Record, a rapid-response group that defends Clinton, said Trump’s speech contained “outright lies” and accused him of repeating “conspiracy theories instead of actual facts.”
Trump book-ended his remarks about Clinton’s shortcomings with a version of his own vision for the highest office in the land. He mentioned “crumbling” American infrastructure and the need for more and better-paying jobs, describing himself as the only candidate to mount a turnaround.
“Her campaign slogan is ‘I’m with her,'” Trump said. “You know what my response to that is? I’m with you: the American people.”
“We will never be able to fix a rigged system by counting on the same people who rigged it in the first place,” he added.