Following attacks in Minnesota, New York and New Jersey, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has blasted the rhetoric of Republican nominee Donald Trump, asserting his comments about Muslim Americans only help the cause of ISIS.
On Sept. 19, Clinton addressed the string of attacks during a press conference in White Plains, New York.
“The threat is real, but so is our resolve,” Clinton said, according to The Washington Post. “Americans will not cower. We will prevail.”
On Sept. 17, a pipe bomb went off in New Jersey. Later on, another bomb in New York City injured 29 people. That same evening, a man in Minnesota stabbed and wounded nine people in a shopping mall. On Sept. 18, more explosives were discovered in Elizabeth, New Jersey, according to Reuters.
On Sept. 19, 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested on suspicion he had planted the bombs in New York and New Jersey. Rahami is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan.
Clinton called for vigilance in the wake of the attacks but also slammed Trump for his rhetoric, accusing the GOP nominee of fueling ISIS recruitment efforts.
“We know that a lot of rhetoric that we’ve heard from Donald Trump has been seized on by terrorists, including ISIS, because they are looking to make this a war against Islam,” Clinton said.
The former secretary of state added that ISIS’s primary strategy is to “recruit more fighters to their cause by turning it into a religious conflict.”
Clinton referenced previous comments made by Michael Hayden, former director of both the NSA and CIA, who has previously described Trump’s rhetoric towards Muslims as a nifty recruitment tool for ISIS.
“The jihadist narrative is that there is undying enmity between Islam and the modern world so when Trump says they all hate us, he’s using their narrative ... he’s feeding their recruitment video,” Hayden told The Guardian in May.
Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller issued a statement blasting Clinton’s accusations.
“Hillary Clinton’s comments today accusing Mr. Trump of treason are not only beyond the pale, it’s also an attempt to distract from her horrible record on ISIS,” Miller said.
The same day, Trump called for law enforcement to racially profile Muslim Americans.
“Do we really have a choice?” Trump said during an interview with Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”
“We’re trying to be so politically correct in our country and this is only going to get worse,” Trump added.