World

Trump: Clinton's plan for Syria 'will lead to WWIII'

US presidential election

US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said that Democrat Hillary Clinton's plan for Syria would "lead to World War Three", because of the potential for conflict with military forces from nuclear-armed Russia.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters that focused largely on foreign policy, Mr Trump said that defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a higher priority than persuading Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, playing down a long-held goal of US policy.

Here are some issues Mr Trump spoke about.

SYRIA

"(Hillary Clinton) has no plan for Syria. Look, with her you'll end up in World War Three. She doesn't know what she's doing, just like with Libya, just like with everything else she's done.

"So Syria now is no longer Syria. Syria is Russia and the new Iran that we built through the Iran deal...

"So you're not fighting Syria any more, you're fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, alright. Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk."

"I say the first thing we have to do is get rid of ISIS before we start thinking about Syria. (Syrian President Bashar al-)Assad is secondary, to me, to ISIS."

RUSSIA

"I would hope to have a good relationship with Russia. And I would hope to have a good relationship with Mr Vladimir Putin. I'm not friends or enemies with the Russians. I have nothing to do with Russia."

"(Clinton) always casts Putin as a bad guy and a bad light. If she won, how is she going to go back and negotiate with this man who she has made to be so evil.

"He's not going to want to negotiate with her, number one. Number two, I don't believe he has any respect for Hillary Clinton whatsoever."

PHILIPPINES

On Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte saying he was against the presence of any foreign troops in his country: "He's dealing with China and Russia so he probably made a deal with China and Russia."

"The Philippines are a very important strategic location. He has no respect or liking of Mr Obama ..."

"I think it's a horrible thing that the United States is reduced to being thrown out of a country."

"There's a big group of people that are in that category (of world leaders who dislike Obama) because Mr Obama wants to focus on his golf game. He doesn't want to take the time necessary to get along with people. It's too bad."

CLINTON PRIVATE E-MAIL SERVER

Wikileaks on Tuesday released a batch of hacked e-mails from the account of Mrs Clinton's campaign manager, Mr John Podesta, that showed her Democratic presidential campaign reacting after President Barack Obama said in a television interview that he learnt of her private e-mail server through news reports.

Mr Trump's response: "Well, I now see why the president stuck up for Hillary, because he didn't want to be dragged into it... Because he knew all about her private server.

"This is a big thing. This means that he has to be investigated."

RIGGING

"The media's rigging the system. It's never been a pile on like this... I mean, they're rigging the polls. The polls are ridiculous. Look at that one poll that came out, ABC/Washington Post. That was a Democratic poll. They're rigging the system."

An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Sunday showed Mrs Clinton leading Mr Trump by 12 percentage points among likely voters.

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