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Trump questions Hillary Clinton's religious faith

By Lalit K Jha
June 22, 2016 11:46 IST
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Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has questioned his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s commitment to her Christian faith, saying that little is known about her spiritual life even though she has been in the public eye for decades.

“We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion,” Trump told a group of evangelical leaders.

A video of the meeting was posted on social media.

“Now, she’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no -- there’s nothing out there,” he said.

“There’s like nothing out there. It’s going to be an extension of Obama but it’s going to be worse, because with Obama you had your guard up. With Hillary you don’t, and it’s going to be worse,” 70-year-old Trump said.

In response to Trump’s remarks, the Clinton campaign released a statement by evangelical leader Deborah Fikes, who has served as an executive advisor to the World Evangelical Association.

“Hillary Clinton is the leader who people of faith are looking for,” Fikes said.

“There is a troubling trend underway in America today.  Donald Trump -- a major party’s presumptive presidential nominee -- has used even more disturbing language to mock women, Latinos, and people with disabilities,” said Fikes.

“He has repeatedly called for a ban on Muslims entering our country. And he has promised to have surveillance in Muslim neighbourhoods in cities and suburbs across the United States.  As an evangelical Christian, it troubles me deeply to see abuse of the vulnerable and intolerance toward religious minorities on the rise,” he said.

Fikes, who also announced to endorse Clinton, said Trump’s proposals are not just un-Christian -- they are un-American and at odds with the values Americans holds dearest.

After the meeting with evangelical leaders, Trump announced a new executive board convened to provide advisory support to him on those issues important to evangelicals and other people of faith in America. It would be led by former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. 

Meanwhile, Trump, who is trailing behind Clinton in a series of national polls, hoped that he would end up doing well in the November general elections.

Now that Trump and Clinton have entered into direct presidential contest, the billionaire from New York as per the recent opinion polls has been trailing between five-eight points behind the former Secretary of State.

According to RealClearPolitics, which keeps tracks of latest opinion polls, Clinton is 5.8 points ahead of Trump in the average of recent polls.

Clinton, the first women in American history to bag the presidential nomination of a major political party, is also leading Trump in some of the key swing states like Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and Virginia.

Trump leads in North Carolina and Georgia, as per RealClearPolitics.

On Wednesday Clinton is scheduled to hit the ground in North Carolina while Trump is planning to make a major speech in New York. 

“I think I’m going to do well. I think you see that,” Trump told Lou Dobbs of the Fox Business News in an interview late Tuesday night.  “I have been brutalised by the press for three weeks, and she has had the best week she’s ever had, and there’s very little difference in the polls,” he asserted, adding that he would recreate the primary magic.

“You saw what happened in the primaries, how so many people more voted than they did, as you know, four years ago. I think we’re going to do very well. I think it’s going to be a big, beautiful surprise,” he said. 

“That probably started today because, people thought that she would have had a much bigger margin. The margin is very tight. And in Ohio, it’s even, and in Pennsylvania, it’s even. We are doing great in Florida. Nationwide, we’re doing very well against her. So I think we’re going to do very well,” Trump asserted.

Photograph: Branden Camp/Getty Images

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