Trump accuses Clinton of corruption, attacks policy record

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 22, 2016 9:54 AM

By Emily Flitter

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump lashed out at his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's policies and personal record on Wednesday, accusing her of perfecting "the politics of personal profit and theft."

In a fiery speech in New York that Clinton's campaign called "nutty" and "hypocritical", Trump argued that the former secretary of state is part of a political establishment that has cheated American workers through bad trade deals and endangered U.S. national security.

Trying to revitalize his White House campaign after firing his campaign manager and reporting poor fundraising numbers this week, Trump painted a picture of Clinton as an unethical insider.

"Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency of the United States," he said, accusing her of having run the State Department "like her own personal hedge fund."

The businessman also repeated accusations that Clinton's decisions as America's top diplomat were influenced by donations to her family's Clinton Foundation and associated charities.

Clinton and her staff have denied this and similar accusations, dismissing them as politically motivated smears.

"The only thing Donald Trump offered today was more hypocritical lies and nutty conspiracy theories," Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin said.

The State Department has said it is not aware of any evidence of improper influence, although it has acknowledged that several donations from foreign governments should have been submitted to the department's ethics advisors for prior review but were not, in breach of an ethics agreement Clinton signed before taking office.

Trump also said Clinton had used bad political judgment in her four years as secretary of state, failing to stop the rise of Islamic State, keep strong sanctions on Iran or avoid chaos in Libya.

"Her decisions spread death, destruction and terrorism everywhere she touched," Trump said.

On Tuesday, Clinton delivered her own blistering attack on Trump, saying that putting the real estate magnate in the White House would be a disaster for the U.S. economy.

Recent opinion polls have given Clinton a lead over Trump. A Reuters/Ipsos survey this week showed that 44.5 percent of likely voters backed Clinton, while 35.5 percent supported Trump.

Trump is known for his free-wheeling speeches but on Wednesday he largely stuck to reading from prepared remarks and used a teleprompter.

The New York real estate mogul raised only $3.1 million in individual campaign contributions in May, leaving him far behind Clinton in the fundraising stakes. Trump this week fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who had been overseeing the campaign's fundraising arm.

(Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Bill Trott and Alistair Bell)