Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Sunday the northern Syrian city of Aleppo has “basically fallen” as he and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton each advocated establishing a safe zones to help protect civilians.
The comments came as the two held their second of three debates before the November 8 election.
Trump called for other governments, such as Gulf states, to pay for the safe zones, and repeated his accusation that Clinton’s role in U.S. foreign policy as secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s first term helped lead to the rise of the Islamic State group.
Clinton added that she would also establish a no-fly zone in Syria and said that a lot of people are suffering because of “Russian aggression.”
“There is a determined effort by the Russian air force to destroy Aleppo in order to eliminate the last of the Syrian rebels who are really holding out against the Assad regime,” she said.
Clinton: I have taken on Russia
Clinton has been criticized throughout her run for president on the issue of her use of a private email system while she led the State Department.Trump said Sunday she should apologize and that people have been harshly punished for doing less than she did.
“If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there’s never been so many lies, such deception, there’s never been anything like it,” he said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation probed Clinton’s email use and concluded there were not grounds for prosecution.
Clinton responded that Trump’s charges were not true and that she was glad someone with his temperament was not in charge of the country.
Clinton: Good thing Trump not in charge of US laws
In the days before the debate, a 2005 tape surfaced in which Trump made lewd comments about women, saying he can grope them because he is a “star.”
The issue became the first question in Sunday’s debate and Trump denied he had actually carried out any of those actions.
“I don’t think you understand what was said at all,” he said.”This was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it.”
Trump’s defense also included accusing Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, of doing “far worse.”
Clinton said the tapes raise questions about whether her opponent is fit to be president.
“What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women, what he does to women, and he has said the video doesn’t represent what he is,” she said.”I think it is clear to anyone who heard it that is exactly who he is.”
Fix or repeal Obamacare?
Trump and Clinton also battled over the future of Obama’s signature healthcare law.
Clinton, acknowledged that the law has raised premiums and price of drugs, but she vowed to fix it, including a focus on bringing down costs and helping small businesses afford to provide coverage to employees.Trump promised to replace the system with one that allows insurance companies to compete across state lines.
“Obamacare is a disaster,” he said.
The next president will likely appoint a justice to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.Clinton said she would appoint justices who have “real world experience” trying cases and would like the court to reverse the Citizens United campaign finance decision while protecting abortion rights and marriage equality.
Trump said his shortlist of potential justices are “highly respected” and respect the Second Amendment that gives Americans the right to bear arms.He said that part of the Constitution is “under siege” by people like Clinton, who wants to institute new gun controls.
The two candidates will hold a final debate on October 19.