U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Sunday that Democrat Hillary Clinton was a “liar” for claiming that his proposal to ban entry of all foreign Muslims into the United States has aided Islamic State’s propaganda efforts.
Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump said Clinton had no evidence to back up a charge she made during a debate on Saturday that the Republican frontrunner is becoming the extremist group’s “best recruiter.”
“She’s a liar and everybody knows that,” Trump said. “She just made this up in thin air.”
Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States following a Jan. 2 attack in San Bernardino, California that killed 14 people has drawn widespread criticism from Republican rivals as well as Democrats like Clinton.
During Saturday night’s Democratic debate, Clinton said Islamic State is using Trump’s rhetoric to enlist fighters to radical jihad.
“They are going to people, showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists,” the Democratic frontrunner said.
Counterterrorism experts and Reuters reporters who monitor Islamist online activity have found no evidence so far that Islamic State has mentioned Trump in its official online accounts.
Asked to comment on Sunday, the Clinton campaign did not respond to Trump’s charge but reiterated that Hillary Clinton’s remark was based on evidence that supporters of the extremist group frequently cite Trump’s comments to make the case that Americans hate Muslims.
It quoted a counterterrorism expert and linked to a tweet from a “very vocal ISIS supporter.”
For Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, that’s enough to indicate that Trump is helping, not hurting, the jihadist group.
“That’s the interpretation we made,” Podesta said on “Meet the Press,” adding “I think it’s a very fair charge.”
Counterterrorism experts say it is nearly impossible to keep track of the torrent of online activity being generated by Islamic State and its sympathizers.
“There are very few analysts who have watched all of IS’s videos,” said counterterrorism analyst Daveed Gartenstein-Ross. “That being said, I believe Hillary Clinton’s claim was false.”
Still, Trump’s comments make it harder for the United States to build good will among Muslim populations and make him complicit in Islamic State mobilization efforts, said Democratic strategist Bud Jackson.
“Donald Trump is in essence aiding and abetting the enemy with his comments. He’s making things worse, not better. There’s no denying that,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Andy Sullivan, Mary Milliken and Alan Crosby)
Watch video of the interview below:
Conservative Ben Shapiro tweeted something many found offensive — so now he’s calling his critics ‘garbage’
Right wing "thought leader" Ben Shapiro appeared today to say not using the "N" word is nearly impossible as he defended conservative, pro-gun teen Kyle Kashuv, one of the Parkland survivors who just had his acceptance to Harvard rescinded over his racist remarks, which included repeated use of the "N" word.
To be clear, Shapiro denies that's what he meant.
Here is Shapiro on Twitter, in what many took as him appearing to call not using the "N" word – in Kashuv's case, repeatedly, over and over and over again, "an insane, cruel standard no one can possibly meet."
Obsessed Trump: ‘Only fake polls show us behind’ Democrats. Fox News: 5 Dems would beat him
President Donald Trump is obsessed with polls – but not facts – and increasingly so. He just fired his internal pollsters after leaked internal poll numbers show devastating lossesfor Trump in key battleground states.
If Trump really believed he was falsely accused ‘that is not a corrupt motive’ for removing the special counsel: Bill Barr
Attorney General William Barr told Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that if President Donald Trump really and truly thought he was being falsely accused of collaborating with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election, that it was "not a corrupt motive" for firing Robert Mueller, a stunning statement from the nation's highest law enforcement officer.
"As a matter of law, I think the department's position would be that the president can direct the termination or the replacement of a special counsel," said Barr. "And as a matter of law, the obstruction statute does not reach that conduct."