Illegal immigrants and Syrian refugees will be treated better than America’s veterans if Hillary Clinton becomes president, Donald Trump said at a town hall in the critical swing state of Virginia Tuesday.
“You have illegal immigrants that [Clinton] wants treated better than veterans,” Trump said, “They are treated better than veterans.”
“When we build weapons, we’re also employing people.”
The event, held in military-dense Virginia Beach, was billed as a town hall on veterans issues. In addition to reforming the health care system for veterans, Trump touched on his plans to rebuild the military, defeat terrorism at home and abroad, and stop letting rogue nations get the better of the U.S.
Trump took questions from Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President Obama’s former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a Trump campaign surrogate.
Asked how he would rebuild the military, Trump said the current lack of readiness is among the most dangerous in history. He advocated modernizing the U.S. armed forces.
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“When we build weapons, we’re also employing people,” said Trump.
Trump said the military sometimes has to cannibalize parts from museums and plane “graveyards” to upgrade existing military planes.
“This is not the United States we want,” said Trump.
Trump said he wants to lead an international coalition to build safe havens in the Middle East for refugees close to their own land. The GOP nominee warned of serious danger if Clinton is allowed to continue President Obama’s policy of moving mass numbers of unvetted migrants into the United States.
Trump charged that Clinton wants a 550-percent increase in refugees.
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“Hillary Clinton wants to be the [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel of the United States,” Trump said, invoking the myriad woes that have befallen Germany since it first welcomed thousands of unassimilated Syrian refugees.
Turning to international affairs, Trump lampooned the Iranian nuclear deal and the perceived ransom payment made by the current administration at the time American sailors, held by the Iranian military, were released.
“Whoever heard of $400 million in cash?” Trump asked, mocking the payment, made up of unfrozen assets consisting of foreign currency, sent to Iran as part of the deal.
Trump said the Iranian deal will lead to Iran having nuclear weapons more quickly than not having an agreement.
The GOP nominee also laid the blame for the rise of ISIS squarely at the feet of President Obama.
“It wouldn’t have started if we had proper leadership,” said Trump. “We shouldn’t have been in Iraq but we shouldn’t have gotten out the way we did … We should have left a small force.”
Trump said ISIS is now in 28 nations.
Flynn asked about Trump’s thoughts on the deteriorating situation in Libya. Trump again said Hillary Clinton and Obama left a vacuum in Libya for ISIS. And, he said, ISIS has grabbed hold of valuable Libyan crude oil.
“They’ve taken over the oil,” said Trump. “I’ve been saying this for years, ‘Keep the oil.'”
It wasn’t all about the Middle East. Flynn asked about North Korea. Trump derided North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, but reminded the audience that China could influence North Korea to be less hostile.
He then mocked President Obama for last weekend’s diplomatic slight on the tarmac in China, when a Chinese official held up the Obama entourage.