Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton lashed out at her Republican opponent Donald Trump over the weekend for projecting "phony strength" against terrorism by demonizing Muslims and promising quick victories.
During a CNN interview that aired on the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, host Chris Cuomo asked Clinton if the next president "needs to level with the American people that words like destroy and defeat ISIS -- that your opponent loves to use all the time about how quickly it will happen -- that it's not the reality."
Clinton agreed that the country deserved a "candid conversation" on fighting terrorism.
She asserted that it was possible to eventually defeat ISIS by depriving it of territory, "but that's not the end of the struggle."
"The struggle is against a violent ideology, a form of violent jihadism that is very much propagated over the Internet, which is attractive unfortunately to young men and some young women across the world," Clinton pointed out. "We have to protect our country by working with one another, and that most certainly includes the American Muslim community."
"What unfortunately Donald Trump has done is made our job harder," she continued, "and given a lot of aid and comfort to ISIS operatives, even ISIS officials who want to create this as some kind of clash of civilizations, a religious war. It's not and we can't let it become that."
"But it sounds like strength when he says it," Cuomo observed. "And people, when they're afraid, like and need the idea of a strong leader."
"Well, there's phony strength and there's real strength," Clinton replied. "And it's phony strength to not know what you're talking about and to make outrageous statements that will actually make our job harder no matter how in the moment it sounds."
"Real strength is leveling with the American people," she added. "And making it clear, we will defeat ISIS. I do believe that. But that we've got to make sure that here at home we're not opening doors to people that feel that somehow they want to be part of this global movement because Donald Trump has said it's a war between us and them and that's pretty attractive to people."