Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton told her Republican counterpart to “cut it out” late Thursday night, after Donald Trump declined to correct an audience member who referred to President Barack Obama as a Muslim.
“Donald Trump not denouncing false statements about POTUS & hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing, & just plain wrong. Cut it out,” Clinton tweeted Thursday night. She signed the tweet with an “-H,” which signifies that she wrote it.
Trump took questions at a rally in New Hampshire on Thursday evening. The first questioner called Obama a Muslim, said the president was not American, and asked Trump when “we can get rid” of Muslim “training camps.”
“We have a problem in this country – it’s called Muslims,” the man said. “We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American – birth certificate, man … We have training camps growing, where they want to kill us. That’s my question. When can we get rid of them?” the questioner said.
Trump responded: “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things. You know, a lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We’re going to look at that and plenty of other things.”
Critics almost immediately blasted Trump for not correcting the questioner to note that Obama was born in the US and is a Christian. Trump has a years-long history of controversy questioning Obama’s birthplace, and he said in July he didn’t know whether Obama was born in the US.
Allegations of Muslim training camps within the US have long stirred suspicion on the right. The far-right publication World Net Daily, for example, has alleged that the FBI has knowledge of more than 20 such camps within the US. Some of those allegations have found their way into more mainstream media.
The Democratic National Committee also pounced on Trump’s remarks late Thursday night, accusing him of “racism.”
“GOP front-runner Donald Trump’s racism knows no bounds,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the DNC chair, said in a statement. “This is certainly horrendous but unfortunately unsurprising given what we have seen already. The vile rhetoric coming from the GOP candidates is appalling.”