SACRAMENTO, California — Donald Trump on Wednesday unleashed a sustained barrage of attacks on Hillary Clinton after the likely Democratic nominee spent the day unloading on the Republican billionaire over his controversy-ridden Trump University.
Trump began by pre-empting Clinton’s next salvo, a foreign policy speech Thursday aimed squarely at Trump, by suggesting the speech is full of “such lies” and capped off his denunciation of the Democrat by insisting Clinton “should not be allowed to run” because of her controversial use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, which Trump said amounted to a breach of “federal law.”
Between those attacks, Trump also called Clinton “a person with no actual talent,” slammed her foreign policy decision-making as secretary of state and recycled an attack previously reserved for his GOP primary opponent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: “low energy.”
Clinton speaks out
Trump’s laser focus on Clinton Wednesday night came after Clinton knocked Trump repeatedly the same day — both on the stump and in TV interviews — over newly unsealed court documents from the lawsuit against the billionaire’s Trump University, accusing Trump of scamming students who paid tens of thousands of dollars for much-maligned business courses.
But amid all of his attacks, Trump did not once mention Trump University or push back against her claims, including her accusation that the since-defunct university is “more evidence that Donald Trump himself is a fraud.”
Obama tweaks Trump
He also did not raise former President Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity nor knock Clinton as an “enabler” as he frequently has in past assaults on the likely Democratic nominee.
In true fighting spirit, Trump also previewed upcoming attacks against President Barack Obama, who has used several recent public appearances to tweak the presumptive Republican nominee. A White House source told CNN that Obama is chomping at the bit to “get people fired up” about voting for the Democratic nominee in the fall and will “explode onto the scene” once that nominee is selected.
“If he campaigns that means I’m allowed to hit him just like I hit Bill Clinton,” Trump said Wednesday night. “He wants to keep this terrible agenda going where everyone is ripping us.”
Trump gets personal
But Trump spent most of his speech Wednesday night in Sacramento with his sights trained squarely on Hillary Clinton. And true to form, the brash billionaire knocked Clinton not just on policy, but also more personally.
“Hillary is not a talented person. In fact she is a person with no actual talent. All you have to do is watch her speak,” Trump said. “This is not a president.”
Trump slammed Clinton’s time as secretary of state, suggesting the policies she supported have “made the Middle East more dangerous than ever before.”
Trump also hammered Clinton over foreign policy decisions that he himself also supported, including the decisions to invade Iraq in 2003 and to launch military strikes in Libya in 2011.
‘I want to beat her’
He also accused Clinton of “sleeping” when the U.S. consulate in Benghazi came under terrorist attack.
The de facto GOP nominee also hit Clinton on domestic policy, accusing Clinton hyperbolically of wanting to “ship all of our jobs overseas” and of wanting to “abolish the Second Amendment.”
And while he suggested Clinton “should not be allowed to run” and that her presence in the presidential race is “a disgrace to the laws of our country,” Trump insisted he was eager to take her on in the general election.
“With that being said, I want to beat her,” he said.