Donald Trump said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is lying and must be desperate in order to criticize his stance on immigration.
“Failing candidate Hillary Clinton, who is desperately trying to hold on to her lead in the Democratic primary against Bernie Sanders, is knowingly putting out lies about my stance on illegal immigration,” Trump said in a statement on Tuesday. The Republican presidential candidate has repeatedly said that some Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists, and accused the Mexican government of purposefully sending them to the U.S.
He has doubled down on the claims for weeks, even as business associates cut ties with him and criticism abounds. “I’m not knocking immigration or immigrants, but rather am very critical of the country of Mexico for sending us people that they don’t want," Trump reiterated in his Monday statement. "Likewise I am very critical of illegal immigration and the tremendous problems including crime, which it causes.”
On Monday, Clinton said she had “just one word for Donald Trump: Basta! Enough!”
“It was appalling to hear Donald Trump describe immigrants as drug dealers, racists and criminals,” she said during a speech for the National Council of La Raza, one of the country's largest Hispanic solidarity groups. “He’s talking about people you and I know. He’s talking about people who love this country, work hard and want nothing more than a chance to build a better life for themselves and this country.”
Trump didn't take kindly to her remarks, which she delivered in Kansas City, Missouri.
“She is desperate, she is sad, and she is obviously very nervous when she has to revert to issues that have already been settled given the absolute accuracy of my statement. She speaks about 'my tone' and that’s the problem with our country’s leaders. They are more worried about tone than results! It’s not about being nice — it’s about being competent,” Trump said in the statement.
Despite his outrage, Trump found time to boast in his response.
“I am honored, however, that she is attacking me, instead of Jeb Bush. Obviously she knows that JEB is no longer her real competition. The last person she wants to face is Donald Trump,” he said.
Trump underestimated Clinton's critiques, however. She also targeted the former Florida governor in her speech, as well as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.