Clinton blasts Trump's comments on military generals, Putin
News conference follows night of tough questions on security for both White House hopefuls
Hillary Clinton blasted Donald Trump Thursday for his condemnation of American military generals and his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying her Republican rival has "failed" at proving he can be commander-in-chief.
"Every Republican holding or seeking office in this country should be asked if they agree with Donald Trump about these statements," Clinton said in a morning news conference, going on to invoke one of the Republican Party's more renowned and hawkish presidents.
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"What would Ronald Reagan say about a Republican nominee who attacks America's generals and who heaps praise on Russia's president?"
Trump's remarks were "scary" and "unpatriotic," she added.
Clinton's remarks — delivered on the tarmac of an airport in White Plains, N.Y. — followed a Wednesday night national security forum where the presidential candidates made back-to-back appearances.
Clinton was repeatedly challenged last night on her controversial email use at the State Department and her vote as a senator for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which she said was a "mistake." She also fleshed out several national security priorities if she is elected, including trying to take out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and vowing to defeat the extremist group without putting U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq or Syria.
Clinton on Thursday morning said she is in favour of using air power, special forces and other military options in the area.
"But there is no, in my opinion, path forward to ground troops that would be in our interest," she said.
Trump has said he has a private blueprint for defeating ISIS and that he would demand a plan from military leaders within 30 days of taking office. But he was also harshly critical of the military, saying America's generals have been "reduced to rubble" under U.S. President Barack Obama. Asked to square his request for military options with that criticism, Trump said simply: "They'll probably be different generals."
Clinton said she will meet with security experts tomorrow to discuss the fight against ISIS.
Clinton also suggested she agreed with Democrats who say she is being held to a different standard because she is a woman.
"I find it frustrating, but it's part of the landscape we live in," she said.
Wednesday's forum served as a preview of sorts for Clinton and Trump's highly anticipated presidential debates. The candidates will face off for the first time on Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in New York.
With just two months until Election Day, national security has emerged as a centrepiece issue in the White House race. Both candidates believe they have the upper hand, with Clinton contrasting her experience with Trump's unpredictability and the Republican arguing that Americans worried about their safety will be left with more of the same if they elect Obama's former secretary of state.
While Republican candidates are often seen by voters as having an advantage on military and national security issues, Trump is far from a traditional Republican. He has no military experience and has repeatedly criticized the skill of the armed forces.
A flood of Republican national security experts have instead chosen to back Clinton, helping bolster her case that Trump is broadly unacceptable. Earlier Wednesday, former defence secretary William Cohen joined the list of Republican officials supporting Clinton.
With files from CBC News