Republican US presidential hopeful Donald Trump on Monday accused Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton of lying when she said the Islamic State group (IS) used videos of his comments about Muslims to recruit militants.
Trump also demanded an apology from Clinton on Twitter.
“She’s a liar!” Trump told more than 6,000 people at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, adding that Clinton is “crooked” and “not a president.”
During Saturday’s Democratic debate, Clinton said Trump had become the Islamic State group’s “best recruiter.”
“They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists,” she said.
There is no evidence to support the claim and a Clinton spokeswoman later said: “She didn’t have a particular video in mind.”
Asked on Monday by MSNBC if Clinton would apologize to Trump, Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said: “Hell no.”
After the mass shootings in San Bernardino, California, Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US, even drawing criticism from some of his Republican rivals during last week’s debate.
During his rally on Monday at Grand Rapids’ DeltaPlex Arena, Trump used crude language to portray Clinton as someone who constantly loses, citing her race against US President Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
“She was favored to win and she got schlonged, she lost,” he said.
He also mocked Clinton for returning to the debate late following a commercial break.
“I thought she quit, I thought she gave up,” Trump said.
He later seemed to acknowledge reports that she got delayed waiting to use a restroom.
“I know where she went. It’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it,” he said.
Trump argued that he is the last person Clinton wants to run against in a general election.
“Ask [Republican presidential hopeful] Jeb Bush if he enjoys running against me,” he said of the former Florida governor who has been struggling to gain traction despite a massive early fundraising advantage.
“Ask Lindsey Graham, did he enjoy running against Trump?” he said of the South Carolina senator who on Monday announced his departure from the race for the Republican nomination.
Trump also defended the kind words he has been exchanging with Russian President Vladimir Putin, brushing off criticism that he has been too kind to the Russian president.
“That’s like a good thing, not a bad thing,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get along like with people?”
He also made it clear that he is opposed to the killing of journalists, after appearing to brush off concerns about Putin’s record on a Sunday morning news show.
“I don’t like that, I’m totally against that,” said Trump. “By the way, I hate some of these people ... and some of them are such lying, disgusting people, it’s true. But I would never kill. And anybody that does I think would be despicable.”
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