Hillary Clinton Tuesday said that Donald Trump's remarks about post-traumatic stress disorder and the nation's veterans were "not just ignorant, they're harmful" because they reinforce stereotypes associated with mental-health issues.
"They give voice to the stigma that has led generations of veterans to hide their struggles instead of getting life-saving help," the Democratic nominee told reporters after a rally in Haverford, Pa.
Trump drew outrage from veterans' groups on Monday when he suggested that soldiers who suffer from mental health issues might not be as strong as those who do not.
"When you talk about the mental health problems — when people come back from war and combat, and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over, and you're strong and you can handle it," he said at an event organized by the Retired American Warriors political action committee in Herndon, Va. "But a lot of people can't handle it.
"And they see horror stories," the Republican candidate added. "They see events that you couldn't see in a movie, nobody would believe it."
Veterans' groups and other critics slammed the comments, saying they worked against their efforts to reduce the stigma associated with mental-health issues in order to encourage soldiers to seek treatment.
"Many people are now standing up and speaking out against Trump because post-traumatic stress is not something that strong people can handle and weak people can't," Clinton said Tuesday. "Some of the strongest men and women any of us will ever meet have experienced post-traumatic stress.
"Donald Trump's comments are not just ignorant, they're harmful."
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