Speaking with reporters in White Plains, New York on Thursday (Sep. 8), Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ripped into her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, after the latter heaped praise on Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Putin has been “a leader far more than our president has been,” Trump said during a forum on national security, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC the night before. Clinton criticized the remark as “not just unpatriotic and insulting to the people of our country,” but “scary.”
We already know Trump and Putin share a warmer-than-usual relationship: Back in April 2016, Putin called the Republican candidate “a brighter person, talented without a doubt.” Trump returned the compliment, perhaps stretching the meaning of Putin’s words, saying, “I like him because he called me a genius. He said Trump is the real leader.”
“It suggests he will let Putin do whatever Putin wants to do, and then make excuses for him,” she said. “What would Ronald Reagan say about a Republican nominee who attacks American generals and heaps praise on Russia’s president?” she added, in a rather clear appeal to moderate Republican voters and politicians who might be hesitant to throw their support to an increasingly volatile and far-right candidate like Trump.
“Every Republican holding or seeking office in this country should be asked if they agree with Donald Trump about these statements,” she said.