Clinton to assail Trump in foreign policy speech

WASHINGTON U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will contrast her foreign policy credentials with those of Donald Trump in a speech on Thursday that will portray the Republican rival she calls a “loose cannon” as too dangerous be president, her campaign said.

Clinton, U.S. secretary of state from 2009-13, has called Trump “divisive and dangerous” and has said the former reality television star is unqualified to lead the country.

She will seek to convey the threat Trump poses and to present her vision for preserving U.S. security and its position as a world leader, Clinton’s campaign told Reuters.

Her foreign policy speech in San Diego will come just before presidential nominating contests in California and five others states on Tuesday, which Clinton hopes will put to rest what has been an unexpectedly tenacious challenge from U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Her target, however, will be the Republican, who has moved past the primary battle and is now presumptive nominee for his party in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

Trump’s willingness to speak with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, his criticism of British politicians and his suggestion that Japan and South Korea should acquire nuclear weapons have been cited by Clinton as risky and irresponsible. She has repeatedly called the New York billionaire a “loose cannon.”

In an interview on CNN in May, the former U.S. senator and first lady said his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States would play into the hands of terrorists.

“When you run for president of the United States, the entire world is listening and watching,” Clinton told CNN. “So when you say you’re going to bar all Muslims, you’re sending evidence to the Muslim world, and you’re also sending a message to terrorists. … Donald Trump is essentially being used as a recruiter for more people to join the cause of terrorism.”

In her speech, first reported by The Washington Post, Clinton will denounce the fear-mongering, bigotry and defeatism that she believes Trump is peddling, the campaign said.

California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, endorsed Clinton on Tuesday with a warning about “the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump,” which he said would risk the spread of nuclear weapons.

Trump has touted himself as an American strongman who would embrace waterboarding and other brutal interrogation techniques for terrorism suspects. Waterboarding, a kind of simulated drowning, has been widely denounced as torture and its use by the United States was banned by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Trump has also said he would renegotiate trade deals and ask non-paying NATO members to “pay up” or “get out.” His sweeping pronouncements, isolationist tendencies and disregard for decades-old U.S. foreign policy positions has alarmed a number of Republicans.

In March, more than 90 Republican foreign policy veterans have pledged to oppose Donald Trump, saying his proposals would undermine U.S. security.

(Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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