GREENVILLE, North Carolina — Donald Trump spent Tuesday rehearsing for his first test as would-be commander in chief.
One day before taking the stage for NBC/MSNBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum, Trump outlined his view for America and hashed out in greater detail than before what his first day in office would look like.
All of it focused on foreign policy, national security, veterans — and why he feels Hillary Clinton is not a viable option.
In front of a few thousand supporters gathered on Tuesday evening, Trump promised that their “moment of liberation is at hand." He pledged to eliminate “every unconstitutional order," and accused his Democratic rival of favoring "military adventurism."
"A vote for Trump is a vote to restore democracy," Trump said.
Trump told the crowd that on day one of his administration he would convene his top generals, and tell them to submit within 30 days “a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS.”
In response, a man in the crowd shouted out a line Trump himself had once used to lay out his ISIS plan: “bomb the s— out of them!"
Earlier in the day, Trump took questions from supporter and retired Army Lt. General Michael Flynn on issues ranging from Libya to North Korea.
He answered very few questions directly, but almost all of his answers came around to attacking Hillary Clinton’s past prescriptions for foreign policy. Asked about what he would do in Libya, Trump told Flynn the current U.S. policy in Libya “is more of the same.”
"This was a Hillary Clinton deal," Trump said, before delivering a more difficult to follow analysis in which he suggested dictator Moammar Gadhafi "wanted to make a deal" before he was ousted and killed.
"We could’ve done a minor attack — you know, he was begging," Trump said. "He wanted to make a deal. He wanted to do whatever and this was just, Qaddafi was so strong on wanting to, you know — cause he knew what was gonna happen. But she was a disaster, Libya right now."
Trump also dodged when asked if he'd support regime change in Syria. Senior communications adviser Jason Miller clarified the non-answer to NBC later that night that saying "[Trump]'s said we need to focus now on defeating ISIS and not pursue simultaneous regime change. Focus on the one goal."
Later Tuesday evening, speaking from a TelePrompter but riffing for this particular line, Trump referred to notes released by the FBI in which Clinton said she couldn’t remember every email security briefing she had following a concussion in 2012.
Trump told the crowd "if she really can’t remember, she can’t be president. She doesn’t remember anything."
"She doesn’t remember whether she was instructed on how to use emails?" Trump said, before beginning a one-man role play on stage. "Were you instructed on how to use them?" Trump changed his pitch, before responding: "I can’t remember."
Noting the latest release of notes from the FBI’s meetings with Clinton, Trump outlined that “on 39 separate occasions – 39 – she said she couldn’t recall details about her mishandling of classified information, and she couldn’t even name one step she took to make sure foreign hackers couldn’t get into her totally illegal server.
Amid attacks about her server, multiple cell phones, and missing emails, Trump’s attack on Clinton’s health fits a pattern for attacking his rivals’ mental health.
Trump deemed Clinton's missing emails and server scandal "like Watergate, only worse."
Trump will continue his message on military preparedness and foreign policy Wednesday, beginning the day with a speech on those topics in the morning from Philadelphia.