• Clinton, Trump spar over Islamic State claim, economy

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    WASHINGTON, D.C.: Hillary Clinton admonished Donald Trump on Thursday (Friday in Manila) for claiming she and President Barack Obama were the founders of the Islamic State group, as the White House rivals also clashed on plans to improve the US economy. “No, Barack Obama is not the founder of ISIS,” Clinton tweeted as she accused her 2016 election rival of a “smear” against the president. “Anyone willing to sink so low, so often should never be allowed to serve as our commander-in-chief.” The Republican nominee roiled the campaign late Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) by telling a rally in Florida that Obama “is the founder of ISIS.” “And I would say, the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton,” he added. A furious Democratic National Committee on Thursday (Friday in Manila) called on the real estate mogul to “apologize for his outrageous, unhinged and patently false suggestions.” Instead, amid a flare of renewed controversy less than three months before the November 8 election, Trump doubled down, repeating to homebuilders in Miami Beach, Florida that Obama and Clinton founded the violent extremist group. “ISIS will hand her the most valuable player award,” he said of Clinton, 68. He made the claim again at a rally Thursday night (Friday morning in Manila) in Kissimmee, Florida. Clinton’s campaign issued a stern statement saying Trump has “an aversion to the truth.” “This is another example of Donald Trump trash-talking the United States,” Clinton senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan said in the statement. Trump was “echoing the talking points of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and our adversaries to attack American leaders and American interests, while failing to offer any serious plans to confront terrorism or make this country more secure,” he added. While Trump’s remarks landed him in fresh controversy, they did manage to push another deeply divisive row — his remarks that could be interpreted as advocating gun violence against Clinton — out of the headlines. Trump has struggled to right his campaign following two weeks of stumbles, sliding poll numbers and rejection by a series of fellow Republicans. He eyed a reset Monday (Tuesday in Manila) by rolling out his economic policies. But then dozens of respected Republican national security experts announced their opposition to a Trump presidency. The following day, Trump caused alarm when he suggested “Second Amendment people” — Americans who support gun rights — could act against Clinton.

    AFP

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