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Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore, Wikipedia
Doral, Florida

Trump: ‘Hillary is planning WW III’

In an exclusive interview with Reuters published on Wednesday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump warned that Democrat Hillary Clinton's plan for Syria would "lead to World War Three." Trump dined with the correspondents at his Trump National Doral golf resort.

Published: October 27, 2016, 11:37 am

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    A build-up announced by NATO, amassing troops on Russia’s border, have given credence to Trump’s warning that a potential conflict by military forces with a nuclear-armed Russia could be in the making if Hillary wins.

    In an interview focused largely on foreign policy, Trump called defeating Islamic State a higher priority than persuing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

    The reason for the long-held policy goal of the United States to get rid of the Syrian president is not clear, but the Obama administration has been defeated in their aim of doing so by Russia.

    Trump questioned how Clinton would be able to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin successfully after demonizing him. He said he feared that Clinton could drag the United States into a world war with her aggressive posturing. “How she is going to go back and negotiate with this man who she has made to be so evil,” he asked.

    He also blamed President Barack Obama for relations with the Philippines taking a sharp downturn, as new president, Rodrigo Duterte as openly sided with China and is threatening to get rid of US troops stationed on his soil.

    Trump said the current lack of Republican unity in supporting his candidacy, could hand Clinton a win. “If we had party unity, we couldn’t lose this election to Hillary Clinton,” he told Reuters.

    While Clinton has admitted to funding “rebels” in Syria that have now morphed into ISIS fighters, she has called for the establishment of a no-fly zone and “safe zones” on the ground to protect “non-combatants” as well as “rebels”. Some analysts fear that American air support to such zones could bring the United States into direct conflict with Russian fighter jets.

    “What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria. You’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton.

    “You’re not fighting Syria any more, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right? Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk,” he said. Trump said Assad is much stronger now than he was three years ago.

    Clinton’s campaign dismissed the warning, saying Trump was “parroting [president Vladimir] Putin’s talking points” according to Clinton spokesman Jesse Lehrich who isued a statement after the interview.

    On the deteriorating ties with the Philippines, Trump said Obama rather “wants to focus on his golf game” because he is not interested in engaging with world leaders.

    Since assuming office, Duterte has expressed open hostility toward the black president, after criticism against his violent anti-drug clampdown Duterte regularly uses expletives to describe Obama and tells the United States not to treat his country “like a dog on a leash.”

    The Obama administration meanwhile has expressed only optimism about the two countries remaining friends. Trump said Duterte’s latest comments showed “a lack of respect for our country.”

    He repeated that the “media was rigging the polls” and said his supporters were upset with Republican Party leadership.

    “The people are very angry with the leadership of this party, because this is an election that we will win 100 percent if we had support from the top. I think we’re going to win it anyway.”

    Trump said he would appoint no Democrats to his cabinet if he wins but would work with them on legislation.

    karin@praag.org

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