U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton chastised Republican rival Donald Trump on Thursday for hinting about things he learned in classified intelligence briefings, calling it “totally inappropriate and undisciplined.”
Speaking to reporters the morning after a New York security forum featuring separate appearances by the two candidates, Clinton also slammed the businessman for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin and saying U.S. generals had been “reduced to rubble” by the policies of U.S. President Barack Obama.
At the televised forum on Wednesday night, Trump said he was “shocked” by information he got during the briefing. “What I did learn is that our leadership, Barack Obama, did not follow what our experts … said to do,” Trump said.
“I would never comment on any aspect of an intelligence briefing I received,” said Clinton, a former secretary of state, before boarding her campaign plane.
Clinton said Trump’s praise of Putin as a better leader than Obama was “not just unpatriotic” but also “scary.”
“It suggests he will let Putin do whatever Putin wants to do and then make excuses for him,” Clinton said.
Trump’s campaign fired back at Clinton after her session with reporters, saying she was resorting to “unhinged and dishonest” attacks.
“These are the desperate attacks of a flailing campaign sinking in the polls, and characteristics of someone woefully unfit for the presidency of the United States,” Jason Miller, senior communications adviser for Trump, said in a statement.
Clinton’s lead over Trump in national opinion polls has weakened in recent days. The current average of polls by website RealClearPolitics puts her at 45.6 percent support, compared to Trump’s 42.8 percent.
Obama hit back at Trump on Thursday for criticizing his foreign policy record, saying the Republican nominee for the Nov. 8 election was unfit to follow him into the Oval Office and the public should press him on his “outright wacky ideas.”
Clinton said she would convene a meeting of bipartisan security experts on Friday to discuss the fight against Islamic State militants.
“What you didn’t hear from Donald Trump last night was any plan to take on ISIS,” Clinton told reporters, using an acronym for the group. “That’s not only dangerous, it should be disqualifying.”
The televised “Commander-in-Chief” forum on Wednesday, attended by military veterans, was the first time Trump and Clinton had squared off on the same stage since accepting their parties’ White House nominations in July, although they did not appear at the same time.
It offered a prelude to how Clinton and Trump will deal with questions of national security in their three upcoming presidential debates later in September and in October.