GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump fired back Sunday morning after he was a major topic in the Democrats' debate Saturday night, saying he is able to make complex subjects easy to understand.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton accused Trump in the debate of whittling down arguments down to simple elements so people understand them, but glosses over major facts.
"I went to Ivy League schools, I'm a good student, all of that stuff," Trump said on "Fox and Friends,"
"but you want to take complex subjects and make them easier. … Look at the job she did. She made everything complex, and the world fell apart because of her."
He brushed aside Clinton's claims she wants most to run against him because she can beat him. The truth, Trump said, is that she is playing his own "Art of the Deal" by telling reporters the opposite of what she actually wants.
Clinton also blamed Trump for giving the Islamic State (ISIS) a recruiting tool when he called for a moratorium on Muslim immigration.
She said in the debate that ISIS is using video of Trump to recruit new members. Media fact checkers say there is no evidence of that happening.
"Your very talented reporter did a fact check and checked with the Washington Post and other people, and it turned out to be a very big lie," Trump said. "It's ridiculous. She makes it up."
Clinton "lies like crazy about everything, Trump said on "Meet the Press." "Whether it's trips where she was being gunned down in a helicopter or an airplane, she's a liar and everybody knows that."
Trump told host Chuck Todd that even if he knew ISIS was using his words in recruitment videos he wouldn't change his language.
"I think that my words represent toughness and strength," Trump said. "Hillary's not strength. Hillary's weak, frankly. She's got no stamina, she's got nothing. She couldn't even get back on the stage" after a commercial break in Saturday's debate. "Nobody even knows what happened to her. It's like she went home and went to sleep."
Clinton aides responded to a request from the Hill
to clarify those remarks by pointing to an NBC news report that noted that Trump's call to block Muslim immigration is "being used by the head-chopping fanatics and other terrorist group's like al Qaeda to attract recruits by painting the land of the free as opposed to Islam."
"They love him from the sense that he is supporting their rhetoric,’ said Rita Katz, an expert from the SITE Intelligence Group, told NBC. SITE monitors Islamic terror support on social media.
"When he says, 'No Muslims should be allowed in America,' they tell people, 'We told you America hates Muslims and here is proof.'"
When Todd said Clinton had traveled more than any other secretary of state, Trump said she was merely "sitting on an airplane," but didn't accomplish anything in her travels.
Trump reiterated his claim that "hundreds of thousands of people have been killed because of her faulty decisions." He pointed to Libya and the mass migration of Syrian refugees as proof.
Todd asked Trump why he was comfortable praising Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I'm not. I didn't praise him. He praised me," Trump answered. "He called me brilliant. He said very nice things about me. I accept it."
"Well, you called him a strong leader," Todd said.
"He is a strong leader," Trump replied. "What am I going to say: He's a weak leader? He's making mincemeat out of our president."
On ABC's "This Week"
things got testy between Trump and host George Stephanopoulos, who asked Trump, "Is it wise to be praising our adversaries and alienating our allies?"
"George, you're having fun. The fact is, we have a problem, George, you don't have to admit it, because you want to be politically correct all the time."
Trump said the politically correct attitude in the United States prevented neighbors from reporting suspicious activity that could have prevented the San Bernardino terrorist shooting.
When Stephanopoulos agreed, "They should turn them in," Trump shot back, "With attitudes like yours, people won't turn them in. People will go along. We have to solve a very serious problem, and if you don't want to talk about it, that's your problem not mine."
Stephanopoulos then asked about Putin's record of killing journalists, which Trump has responded to by saying the United States kills people, too.
"As far as the reporters are concerned, obviously, I don't want that to happen," Trump said. "I think it's horrible, but in all fairness to Putin, you're saying he killed people, I haven't seen that. Have you been able to prove that? Do you know the names of reporters that he's killed?"
When Stephanopoulos said Russia backed Iran in the nuclear deal that Trump criticized the Obama White House for making, Trump said it is the United States who has backed Iran by making the deal in the first place.
"Through sheer stupidity of a deal, we're are the ones that truly empowered Iran," he said. "It's a disgrace."
As for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders saying Trump favors a low minimum wage, Trump told "Fox and Friends" he actually wants everyone to have high wages.
"I want people to make a lot of money, and that's why I'm going to bring jobs back from China and all of these people that stripped us of our jobs. … I want people to go way above the minimum wage, and what I talk about is exactly that."
It is during President Barack Obama's time in office that real wages have stagnated, Trump said.
"He knows nothing about economics," Trump said of Sanders. "I guess you'd call him a socialist, but some people would call him a communist if you look at what he is doing, and he is going to lose anyway."
Trump also responded to a recent quote by GOP rival Jeb Bush, who told a campaign rally Trump is a "jerk" for attacking women, Hispanics, Muslims and the disabled.
Trump said Bush is only saying what a pollster told him to say.
"That is a soundbyte given to him," Trump said. "He has no gravitas. He did a similar soundbyte during the debate. … I don't know if he even qualifies for the next debate."
"He's only saying that to get mojo going, but in the meantime I went up 11 points in the new Fox poll," Trump told "Meet the Press."
I went up 11 points after the debate, and he went down two."
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