Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gave her first interview to an Israeli media outlet this election season, sitting down for an exclusive interview with Israel’s Channel 2 that is set to air Thursday evening.
Clinton ripped into Republican nominee Donald Trump during the interview, claiming that his campaign rhetoric had bolstered the ISIS terror group.
When asked by interviewer Yonit Levi whether she would, if elected president, she would pursue the war on ISIS differently than her predecessor and, specifically, if she would refer to the conflict as a “war on radical Islam” - noting that the Obama administration has shied away from referencing “radical Islam” – Clinton suggested use of such terminology could actually strengthen Islamic terror.
“We’ve made a judgment, based on a lot of research, that bringing Islam into the definition of our enemy actually serves the purpose of the radical Jihadists, and there’s a lot of evidence of that,” Clinton responded.
The former Secretary of State then added that Matt Olsen, the former chief of the National Counterterrorism Center, had written in a TIME article, published Thursday, that “ISIS supports Donald Trump”.
“He quoted ISIS spokespeople rooting for Donald Trump’s victory, because Trump has made Islam and Muslims part of his campaign. And basically, Matt Olsen argues, the Jihadists see this as a great gift. They are saying, ‘Oh, please, Allah, make Trump president of America.”
“I’m not interested in giving aid and comfort to their aid and comfort to their evil ambitions,” added Clinton. “I want to defeat them, I want to end their reign of terror. I don’t want them to feel as though they can be getting more recruits because of our politics.”
The former First Lady then turned to her own plan for confronting ISIS, saying she would “intensify what is already happening: our air campaign, more support on the ground to the Arab and Kurdish fighters.”
Clinton also suggested the need to gain “leverage” with Syria’s chief patrons, Russia and Iran.
“I still believe that we need leverage to deal with the Russians and the Iranians and the Syrians, whether it’s a no-fly zone or some other tool.”