KEOTA, Iowa — Hillary Clinton on Tuesday stood by her claim that ISIS uses videos of Donald Trump to recruit terrorists, but offered more explanation than she did when she first made the comment over the weekend at the Democratic debate.
On Saturday, Clinton claimed that ISIS is “going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.” The claim was roundly panned, with fact checks labeling it false and Republicans knocking her for lying.
But Clinton didn’t back away from the claim at a town hall event here, explain instead that videos of Trump are regularly played on Arabic television.
“You know, people around the world pay close attention to our elections. And if you go on Arabic television, as we have, and you look at what is being blasted out with video of Mr. Trump being translated into Arabic, ‘No Muslims coming into the United States,’ other kinds of derogatory, defamatory statements, it is playing into the hands of the violent jihadists,” she said. “There is nothing they want more than to be able to claim that the United States is against Islam and against Muslims and that then lights an even bigger fire for them to make their propaganda claims through social media and other ways.”
As she regularly does, Clinton added that Trump’s rhetoric — particularly his call to ban Muslims from entering the United States — “is not only dangerous, it is shameful.”
“It is not the kind of language someone running for president of the United States should be using,” Clinton said to applause. “It has consequences. It has real consequences.”
After the comment was panned, Trump told NBC’s “Today” show that he wanted an apology.
“I will demand an apology from Hillary,” Trump said. “I will demand an apology from Hillary. She should apologize. She lies about emails, she lies about Whitewater, she lies about everything.”
Trump will likely be waiting awhile for that apology.
“Hell no. Hillary Clinton will not be apologizing to Donald Trump for correctly pointing out how his hateful rhetoric only helps ISIS recruit more terrorists,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said Monday afternoon.
Clinton is in Keota, a tiny town of roughly 1,000 people, because three students — Abby Schulte, Megan Adam and Kylea Tinnes — persistently showed up at events over the last few months to invite her to the small town.
The town hall, which had a more intimate feel than some of Clinton’s events, became emotional when a fifth-grader, Hannah Tandy, asked the former secretary of state about being bulled because she has asthma.
Clinton gave the young girl a hug and offered some words of advice while again knocking Trump, who called out Clinton on Monday night by saying she got “schlonged” by Obama during the 2008 election.
“You are looking at somebody who has had a lot of terrible things said about me. Luckily, I am old enough where it doesn’t particularly bother me,” she said. “We shouldn’t let anybody bully his way into the presidency.”
Clinton’s aides told reporters that she would not be commenting on Trump’s remark during the event. And although reporters tried to ask the 2016 candidate about the comment after the event, Clinton did not respond.