After criticism, Hillary Clinton shifts language on Donald Trump and ISIS

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is modifying her language since her initial statement about propaganda videos used by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Donald Trump.

At a town hall event in Keota, Iowa, Tuesday, Clinton said Trump's comments about Muslims have been featured on Arabic television, which is playing into the hands of terrorists. Trump has proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

Clinton said of Trump's comments about Muslims, "[P]eople around the world pay very close attention to our elections, and if you go on Arabic television as we have...you look at what is being blasted out, with video of Mr. Trump being translated into Arabic. No Muslims coming to the United States, other kinds of derogatory, defamatory statements -- it is playing into the hands of the violent jihadists."

This is a shift from what Clinton said at the Democratic debate last Saturday when she said Trump was "becoming ISIS' best recruiter."

"They are going to people showing them videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists," Clinton said.

Her campaign came under fire after several fact checkers were unable to substantiate the claim that ISIS had produced recruitment videos featuring Trump's call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

Trump demanded an apology from Clinton and called her a liar. Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon declared, "Hell no. Hillary Clinton will not be apologizing to Donald Trump for correctly pointing out how his hateful rhetoric only helps ISIS recruit more terrorists."

The campaign pointed to quotes from Rita Katz of the SITE Intelligence group, which tracks and analyzes terrorists.

"They love him from the sense that he is supporting their rhetoric," the group's executive director, Rita Katz told NBC News earlier this month. "When he says, 'No Muslims should be allowed in America,' they tell people, 'We told you America hates Muslims and here is proof.'"

She did not indicate that ISIS was using Trump in recruitment videos.

Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, went on a lengthy Twitter tirade Monday on Trump and terrorist recruiting, but none of his tweets showed evidence of recruitment videos featuring Trump. None of the experts Podesta mentioned refer to ISIS videos featuring Trump - they just broadly say that Trump's rhetoric plays into ISIS' message about a war with the West.

On ABC's "This Week," Sunday, Clinton's communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, said "she doesn't have a particular video in mind, but he is being used in social media."

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.