The Latest: Clinton says IS hopes for Trump win

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Campaign 2016 (all times EDT):

12:00 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has told an Israeli TV station that the Islamic State group is hoping for a Donald Trump victory.

Clinton tells Channel 2 TV that the Republican presidential candidate’s critical comments about Muslims have played into the hands of the extremist group.

She says extremists “are saying, ‘Please Allah, make Trump president of America.'”

In the interview, she vows to defeat the militant group and adds, “I don’t want them to feel as if they can be getting more recruits because of our politics.”

The full interview is set to be broadcast later Thursday.


11:57 a.m.

Election officials across the country are pushing back against Donald Trump’s assertions that the presidential election may be rigged, arguing that too many safeguards exist against engineered results nationally or in individual states.

It’s clear, though, that some supporters have taken Trump’s comments to heart. Trump told a town hall crowd in Columbus, Ohio last month that he is “afraid the election is going to be rigged,” without elaborating.

In recent weeks, voters have linked the GOP nominee’s remarks to attacks on two states’ voter registration databases and questions surrounding the security of electronic voting machines. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, tells people asking about fraud that they should work at local polls.

Election training groups say officials should educate people about the process to calm concerns.


10:53 a.m.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson says he, “blanked” when he was asked about the name of Syria’s largest city.

Johnson said in a statement that he thought Aleppo was an acronym when asked about it on the television show “Morning Joe” Thursday morning. Johnson responded, “What is Aleppo?” That response quickly went viral.

Johonson said in his statement that he, “blanked,” and added, “It happens and it will happen again during the course of this campaign.”

Johnson is in the midst of a media blitz in New York City as he tries to reach 15 percent in national polls. That’s the threshold needed for him to have a spot in the first presidential debate on Sept. 26.


10:06 a.m.

Hillary Clinton says every Republican holding or seeking office should be asked if they agree with Donald Trump’s comments about trusting and firing some U.S. generals and his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Clinton said the remarks show Trump has “failed” at a key test of being the nation’s commander in chief.

Trump on Wednesday night said during a candidate forum that he trusts some generals, but not all, because they’ve been “reduced to rubble.” He also had new praise for Putin.

Clinton said those comments and others showed Trump is ill-equipped to be president. Trump says Clinton was weak as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.


9:58 a.m.

Hillary Clinton says it was inappropriate for Republican Donald Trump to discuss his intelligence briefing.

She says she will not divulge what she was told by experts tasked with briefing presidential candidates.

Trump said there were things in his briefing that “shocked” and “surprised” him. He made the comments during a Wednesday night national security forum hosted by MSNBC.___

9:49 a.m.

Hillary Clinton says the United States should hunt down and kill the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as it did Osama bin Laden.

The Democratic presidential contender spoke Thursday to reporters outside her campaign plane in White Plains, New York.

She said, “Nobody directs or inspires attacks against the United States and gets away with it.” Clinton compared the mission to the 2011 killing of the al-Qaida leader who directed the September 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000.

Clinton frequently recounts for voters her involvement in the operation as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

Clinton also said she will convene a meeting of national security leaders on Friday.


9:09 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says Hillary Clinton has been so confident she’ll win the presidential election that she’s “playing not to lose.” And the Wisconsin Republican says when you do that prematurely, you’re likely to lose anyway.

He also had rare words of praise Donald Trump, saying the mercurial GOP nominee “has gotten much more disciplined.”

Ryan used a sports analogy to describe the presidential race Thursday on “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” a conservative talk radio program.

He said that in only the game’s second quarter, Clinton started “stalling, not talking to the press, not doing many events.” And he said, “When you play not to lose so early in the game, you probably end up losing.”

Ryan credited Trump’s newfound steadiness to campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway.


8:31 a.m.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson now knows what Aleppo is.

He was asked Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” what he would do as president about the Syrian city at the center of the refugee crisis, Johnson replied, “And what is Aleppo?”

Replied questioner Mike Barnicle, “You’re kidding me.” Johnson said no, he wasn’t kidding. Barnicle then began to explain. When he got to the refugee crisis, Johnson interrupted him, saying, “Okay, got it.”

The former governor of New Mexico added that Syria is “a mess” and “the only way we deal with Syria is to join hands with Russia to diplomatically bring that (to) an end.”


7:10 a.m.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager says Donald Trump didn’t come prepared to answer questions about his foreign policy plans.

Robby Mook said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday that Trump’s answer for how to defeat the Islamic State group shows he had “no plan” in the first place.

The Republican presidential nominee insisted during a presidential forum Wednesday night that he has a private blueprint for defeating the extremist group. But he also said he would demand a plan from military leaders within 30 days of taking office.


5:54 a.m.

President Barack Obama is hitting back at Donald Trump for the Republican’s frequent criticism of Obama’s foreign policy.

Speaking at a news conference in Laos on Thursday, Obama says he continues to believe Trump isn’t qualified to be president and that “every time he speaks, that opinion is confirmed.”

Trump has blasted Obama’s policy toward China as weak and said the president was humiliated by the Chinese during his visit to Asia this week.

Obama tells reporters in Laos that he thinks diplomacy is “serious business” and that Trump’s ideas are often “contradictory” and “outright wacky.”


3:11 a.m.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton confronted their key weaknesses in a televised national security forum. The Republican defended his preparedness to be commander in chief despite vague plans for tackling global challenges and the Democrat argued that her controversial email practices did not expose questionable judgment.

The candidates spoke back-to-back at the forum Wednesday night, each fielding 30 minutes of questions. While the candidates never appeared on stage together, the session served as a preview of sorts for their highly anticipated presidential debates.

With just two months until Election Day, national security has emerged as a centerpiece issue in the White House race. Both candidates believe they have the upper hand.

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