Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton is refusing to back down from a new feud with Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. Clinton's spokesman said, "hell, no" she will not apologise after calling Trump "Isis's best recruiter."
"Hillary Clinton will not be apologising to Donald Trump for correctly pointing out how his hateful rhetoric only helps Isis recruit more terrorists," spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement. During the 19 December Democratic debate, Clinton said the terrorist organisation is "showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists."
According to Politifact, Clinton's comments were rated as "false" because while experts say the Islamic State (Isis) could be sharing Trump's comments to support their arguments that the West is at war with Islam, there is no evidence that the group is using the statements to recruit fighters.
"The claim that Isis has featured Trump in its videos is untrue, to the best of my knowledge," J M Berger, a terrorism researcher and fellow at the Project on US Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution in Washington told The Wall Street Journal. "They do talk about him and his comments on social media, as a vindication of their views on how the West treats Muslims, but so far, not in an organised or overwhelming way."
On 21 December, Trump appeared on the TODAY Show and said he would demand an apology from his political rival. "She lies about emails, she lies about Whitewater, she lies about everything. She will be a disaster about everything as president of the United States," Trump said.
However, a day before on Meet the Press, he said he would not change his comments if he found out that they were being used by Isis (Daesh) to recruit militants. "No, because I think that my words represent toughness and strength. Hillary's not strong, Hillary's weak, frankly," he said.
The WSJ noted that the Republican-Democratic feud represents a new phase in the 2016 presidential campaign for Clinton. The leading Democratic contender has begun to take aim at her GOP rivals, with Trump as her primary target. In a call with supporters, Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta said: "He's a bully, and bullies need to be stood up to, and that's why we made the decision to go hard at his rhetoric."