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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that Hillary Clinton “could be considered a founding member of ISIS” because she was secretary of state during the Obama administration’s withdrawal from Iraq.
Giuliani, a Republican, delivered the sharp criticism in an interview on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” during a segment on the Brussels attacks and the Obama administration’s response to them. He was quick to link Clinton to what he saw as failures of the administration’s response to ISIS.
“She had her chance to (rally people against ISIS) — she helped create ISIS. Hillary Clinton could be considered a founding member of ISIS,” Giuliani said.
Pressed by host Bill O’Reilly, Giuliani explained his reasoning.
“By being part of an administration withdrew from Iraq. By being part of an administration that let (Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki) run Iraq into the ground, so you forced the Shiites to make a choice. By not intervening in Syria at the proper time. By being part of an administration that drew twelve lines in the sand and made a joke out of it,” Guiliani said.
O’Reilly then pointed out that as secretary of state, Clinton was not personally responsible for the decisions, and that the most she could have done to compel Obama to change his policy was resign.
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“Which is what a patriot does,” Giuliani said.
Earlier Wednesday, Clinton had delivered a speech outlining how she would try to defeat ISIS and protect the United States against terrorism. The former secretary of state, pulling at length from her four years as America’s top diplomat, urged tighter cooperation with allies while also pushing those countries to do more to combat terror.
“The threat we face from terrorism is real, it is urgent and it knows no boundaries,” Clinton said. And she pushed the European Union to “make good on the proposal to establish a new unified European border and coast guard” as well as invest more in defense.
Clinton also criticized the foreign policy and anti-terror strategies offered by GOP candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in her speech. She said that Cruz’s call for increased policing and monitoring of Muslim communities is “wrong, it is counterproductive, it is dangerous,” and compared it to “treating American Muslims like criminals” and “racially profiling.”
And Clinton blasted Trump’s proposal to have the United States withdraw from NATO, saying “If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin.”
During his interview on Fox news, Giuliani — who has yet to endorse a GOP candidate — heaped praise on both Trump and Cruz for their approach to fighting ISIS.
“I think Trump and Cruz probably have been the most specific on it, as specific as you would expect at this level of the campaign,” the former mayor said. “There’s no question they will take the war to ISIS — exactly how they’d do it, they probably don’t know yet, until they get in there.”