REUTERS – Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton clashed over national security again on Friday, with Trump calling his Democratic rival “trigger-happy” and Clinton arguing his proposals would make the world a more dangerous place.
The two White House hopefuls have waged a running battle this week over who is best placed to command the world’s most powerful military, with both touting their support from retired military leaders and attacking their opponent’s temperament and judgment.
Trump also injected drama into the national security debate this week by wholeheartedly endorsing Russian President Vladimir Putin as a strong leader who has fared better than U.S. President Barack Obama. Clinton, many Democrats and even some in his own Republican party balked.
Trump, speaking on Friday at the conservative Value Voters summit in Washington, painted Clinton as a “massive failure” while she was America’s top diplomat from 2009 to early 2013, blaming her for the current turmoil in the Middle East.
“The problem is, Hillary Clinton is trigger-happy. Her tenure has brought us only war, destruction and death. She’s just too quick to intervene, invade, or to push for regime change,” he said at the summit.
Meanwhile in New York, Clinton met with national security and foreign policy experts who are supporting her campaign to discuss terrorism. She touted the bipartisan nature of the meeting and vowed to work across the aisle as president to tackle national security challenges.
“The nominee on the other side promises to do things that will make us less safe,” Clinton told reporters at a news conference on Friday afternoon. “National security experts on both sides of the aisle are chilled by what they’re hearing from the Republican nominee.”
Both candidates are hoping to capitalize on concerns about national security and paint their opponents as unqualified leading into the Nov. 8 presidential election.