Donald Trump on Monday accused Hillary Clinton of lying when she said the Islamic State group used videos of his comments about Muslims to recruit militants.
The Republican presidential front-runner also took to Twitter to demand an apology from his leading Democratic opponent.
“She’s a liar!” Trump told more than 6,000 people at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also said Clinton was “crooked” and “not a president.”
During Saturday’s Democratic debate, Clinton said Trump had become the Islamic State’s “best recruiter” and said, “They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”
There was no evidence to back the claim, and a spokeswoman later said, “She didn’t have a particular video in mind.”
Brian Fallon, Clinton campaign spokesman, if Clinton would apologize to Trump
Still, Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon, asked Monday by MSNBC if Clinton would apologize to Trump, insisted, “Hell no.”
During his rally Monday at Grand Rapids’ DeltaPlex Arena, Trump used crude language to portray Clinton as someone who constantly loses, citing her race against Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
“She was favored to win and she got schlonged, she lost,” he said.
I thought she quit, I thought she gave up. … I know where she went. It’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it.”
Donald Trump, mocking Clinton for returning to the debate late following a commercial break
He also mocked Clinton for returning to the debate late following a commercial break. “I thought she quit, I thought she gave up,” Trump joked. He later seemed to acknowledge reports that she got delayed waiting to use a restroom: “I know where she went. It’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it.”
Trump argued that he is the last person Clinton wants to run against in a general election.
“Ask Jeb Bush if he enjoys running against me,” he said of the former Florida governor who has been struggling to gain traction despite a massive early fundraising advantage.
“Ask Lindsey Graham, did he enjoy running against Trump?” he said of the South Carolina senator who on Monday announced his departure from the race.
Ask Jeb Bush if he enjoys running against me. Ask Lindsey Graham, did he enjoy running against Trump?”
Trump on the former Florida governor and the South Carolina senator
Trump also defended the kind words he’s been exchanging with Russian President Vladimir Putin, brushing off criticism that he has been too kind to the Russian president.
“That’s like a good thing, not a bad thing,” he insisted. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get along like with people?”
And he made clear that he is opposed to the killing of journalists, after appearing to brush off concerns about Putin’s record on a Sunday morning news show.
“I don’t like that, I’m totally against that,” said Trump. “By the way, I hate some of these people … and some of them are such lying, disgusting people, it’s true. But I would never kill. And anybody that does I think would be despicable.”
I don’t like that, I’m totally against that. By the way, I hate some of these people … and some of them are such lying, disgusting people, it’s true. But I would never kill. And anybody that does I think would be despicable.”
Trump saying he’s opposed to the killing of journalists
PolitiFact’s ‘Lie of the Year’? Donald Trump’s campaign talk
The audacious Republican front-runner has earned a dubious prize for his controversial remarks on the campaign trail: PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year,” a designation the fact check group bestows on what it says is the most egregious political falsehood of the year.
In this case, PolitiFact’s editors said their only real contenders for this year were all Trump statements: It had previously given “Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire” to 76 out of Trump 77 statements.
“But it was hard to single one out from the others,” the editors wrote. “So we have rolled them into one big trophy.”
And they added: “To the candidate who says he’s all about winning, PolitiFact designates the many campaign misstatements of Donald Trump as our 2015 Lie of the Year.”
Among the lesser-known faux statements in the Trump canon were a double falsehood: on June 16, when he said “the last quarter, it was just announced, our gross domestic product … was below zero. Who ever heard of this? It’s never below zero.” The site marked the claim “Pants on Fire,” finding the gross domestic product was not zero and that the growth in the gross domestic product has been below zero 42 times over 68 years.
McClatchy News Service