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Clinton to meet with former officials, experts on terror

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a news conference on the airport tarmac in front of her campaign plane in White Plains, New York, United States September 8, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTX2OO7D

REUTERS

CHARLOTTE -- Hillary Clinton will convene a bipartisan meeting with national security experts and former officials on terrorism on Friday in New York City, the Democratic nominee said on Thursday.

“We will discuss how to intensify our efforts to defeat ISIS and keep our country safe,” Clinton said, speaking to reporters at the airport in White Plains before boarding her campaign plane. “We should make it a top priority to hunt down the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and bring him to justice just as we did with Osama bin Laden.”

Gen. John Allen, former Deputy Commander of the U.S. Central Command, former Secretaries of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano and David Petreaus, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, are among those who will participate in the meeting, according to a Clinton campaign official. The group will meet at the New York Historical Society in Manhattan. 

Later Thursday, at a rally in Charlotte, Clinton stressed that the meeting brings together people from both sides of the aisle.

“Bipartisan is what I want to get us back to,” she said, speaking to a crowd of more than 1,500 in a gym at Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black university. “Where Republicans and Democrats work together to make the changes, to protect our country.”

Clinton first mentioned a meeting with “terror experts” on Wednesday night during a televised forum on national security and veterans issues. During the forum, Clinton faced questions about her private email server​, her judgment and her vote as a Senator from New York for the Iraq War while her opponent, Donald Trump, was quizzed about his plan to combat ISIS and whether his administration would allow undocumented immigrants to serve in the military. The candidates appeared back-to-back and, on Thursday, Clinton panned Trump’s performance. 

“Last night was yet another test, and Donald Trump failed yet again,” she said. “We saw more evidence that he is temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be Commander in Chief.”

Clinton criticized Trump’s comments about America’s generals, which he said had been “reduced to rubble,” and his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“What would Ronald Reagan say about a Republican nominee who attacks America’s generals and praised Russia’s president?​,” she asked. “I think we know the answer.”

In Charlotte, Clinton spoke directly to Republicans and asked them to choose “country over party” when they cast their votes in November.

“We have never been threatened as much by a single candidate running for president as we have been in this election,” she said. “I will not trash our country’s most cherished values -- I will defend them.”