Donald Trump assailed Hillary Clinton, his presumptive Democratic opponent, on Wednesday as a “world-class liar,” attacking her as beholden to special interests and having judgment too poor to lead the country.
“Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee charged in a speech from his hotel in Manhattan’s SoHo.
Trump quoted several times from “Clinton Cash.” The book, written by Peter Schweizer, concludes that the paid speeches by the former secretary of state and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and contributions to their charitable Clinton Foundation were part of a pattern of greed and corruption.
Trump said the couple has taken money from foreign governments whose values run counter to those of the United States, and said the trade policies Clinton and President Barack Obama support would take away American jobs and damage the economy.
He also criticized Clinton’s work as secretary of state, blaming her for the deadly attack on American diplomats in 2012 in Benghazi, Libya. He said the foreign policy approaches have emboldened and empowered the Islamic State. “Her decisions spread death, destruction and terrorism everywhere she touched,” Trump said.
The real estate mogul repeatedly painted his rival as self-interested, playing off the “I’m with her” rallying cry of Clinton supporters by pitching his own slogan to voters, “I’m with you.”
Trump spoke amid a tumultuous week for his campaign that included the ouster of its manager, Corey Lewandowski, and federal filings that showed it ended May with just $1.3 million in cash on hand compared to $42.5 million for Clinton.
In an email later Wednesday, the campaign said Trump offered Tuesday to match up to $2 million in donations — $1 for every $1 collected — and met the goal in 12 hours.
“He’s going after me personally because he has no answers on the substance,” Clinton said in response to Trump’s speech while she stumped in Raleigh, North Carolina.
She defended the Clinton Foundation as helping poor communities around the world get AIDS medication and said Trump, by contrast, uses the poor to make his line of suits and ties.
Her campaign in an email said it fact-checked the “15 biggest lies” of Trump’s speech. For example, in the Benghazi attack, Clinton’s team cited evidence that she was “fully engaged in the immediate response.”
Clinton supporters and others have challenged inaccuracies in “Clinton Cash” and accused Schweizer of being politically motivated.
Schweizer told Newsday he does not advise Trump, but said, “I love the fact that corruption is a center point of his campaign. It’s something the American people are hungry for.”
“I think he surprised a lot of people,” Suffolk County GOP chairman John Jay LaValle, a Trump surrogate, said. “Today, we saw a president.”