US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the crowd during a campaign rally at La Gala May 16, 2016, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (AFP photo)
Presumptive US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has denounced his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, saying her policies, which she implemented when she was secretary of state, created the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.
“Crooked Hillary Clinton’s foreign interventions unleashed ISIL in Syria, Iraq and Libya. She is reckless and dangerous,” Trump said in a Tweet on Saturday.
His remarks come in the wake of a salvo of scathing barbs the two candidates have exchanged throughout their campaign trails.
In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Clinton labeled Trump as “divisive and dangerous” and “unmoored”, saying his behavior shows he’s not qualified to be president.
“I know how hard this job is, and I know that we need steadiness as well as strength and smarts in it, and I have concluded he is not qualified to be president of the United States,” Clinton said.
The Democratic presidential front-runner also censured Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the US as “provocative” and said it sends a “message of disrespect” to important majority-Muslim nations that are US allies.
“When you run for president of the United States, the entire world is listening and watching,” she said.
“So when you say you’re going to bar all Muslims, you’re sending evidence to the Muslim world, and you’re also sending a message to terrorists,” Clinton added. “Donald Trump is essentially being used as a recruiter for more people to join the cause of terrorism.”
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a fundraising event in Lawrenceville, New Jersey on May 19, 2016. (AFP photo)
The billionaire businessman retorted shortly after Clinton’s comments, saying her criticism regarding the Muslim ban is “absolutely dumb” and the former secretary of state is “ill-equipped” for the presidency.
“Is that the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard? I mean to me, it’s one of the dumber statements I’ve ever heard. I mean, she is so ill-equipped to be the president,” Trump said.
This year’s presidential race in the US has been rife with scandals, mudslinging and onstage vulgarity, where rivals have time and again seized opportunities to blacken their opponents and push them down the gutter.
Back in March, US Secretary of State John Kerry slammed the chaos in America’s presidential campaign, saying it is “an embarrassment to our country.”