U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday warned that Democrat Hillary Clinton’s plan for Syria would “lead to World War Three,” arguing that the Democratic nominee would draw the US into armed confrontation with Russia, Syria and Iran.
Speaking exclusively with Reuters, Trump said defeating the Islamic State militant group is a higher priority than persuading Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down — a long-held U.S. strategy.
“What we should do is focus on ISIS. We should not be focusing on Syria,” Trump said on Tuesday morning at his resort in Doral, Florida, adding that “You’re going to end up in World War III over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton.”
In the interview:
- Trump questioned how Clinton would negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin after demonizing him.
- Trump blamed President Barack Obama for a downturn in U.S. relations with the Philippines under its new president, Rodrigo Duterte.
- Trump also bemoaned a lack of Republican unity behind his candidacy, and said he would easily win the election if the party leaders would support him.
“You’re not fighting Syria anymore, 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.
The Republican presidential candidate’s remarks come as he trails Clinton in most national and key battleground state polls just two weeks from Election Day.
Quite a number of polls have showed that Trump is lagging the Democratic nominee in the important battleground state, as well as nationally, ahead of the November 8, election.
Trump disputes these and has called them “rigged.”