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Clinton: Trump's Praise of Putin Is 'Scary' and 'Unpatriotic'

During Clinton's first podium press conference in 278 days, the Democratic nominee slammed Donald Trump for being "unpatriotic."
Image: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addresses the National Convention of the American Legion in Cincinnati
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addresses the National Convention of the American Legion in Cincinnati on Aug. 31, 2016.BRYAN WOOLSTON / Reuters

Clinton: Trump Is

Sept. 8, 201601:25

Holding her first formal press conference in 278 days, Hillary Clinton reflected on Wednesday night's Commander-in-Chief Forum, blasting Donald Trump for "trash-talking" America's generals and praising Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Last night was yet another test and Donald Trump failed yet again," Clinton said, adding, "We saw more evidence that he is unfit and unqualified."

Clinton highlighted Trump "bizarrely" praising Putin. At the NBC News Forum, Trump touted the Russian leader's "82 percent approval rating," predicted he would have a "very very good relationship" with Putin, and compared Putin favorably to Obama.

"That is not just unpatriotic and insulting to the people of our country," Clinton said, "it is scary because it suggests he will let Putin do whatever Putin wants to do."

Related: Donald Trump Praises Putin, Hillary Clinton Defends Email

The Democratic nominee took six questions during her podium press conference.

Clinton clarified a remark from Wednesday's Forum—where she said that if elected "we are not putting ground troops into Iraq ever again"—stating Thursday that she does support the air campaign and special forces.

She added: "I will absolutely be prepared to do whatever is necessary to support the Arab and Kurdish fighters on the ground to take out as much of the infrastructure of ISIS from the air to go after Baghdadi with a very focused commitment to taking him off the battlefield."

Responding to questions from the tarmac, Clinton reacted to criticism that she didn't smile enough at the Forum—saying she was "talking about serious issues"—and also took a swipe at Gov. Gary Johnson, who earlier Thursday morning earnestly asked what Aleppo is.

Clinton said she will be convening a bipartisan meeting on national security on Friday, focused on defeating ISIS.

"We should make it a top priority to hunt down the leader of ISIS," she said, adding, "I believe it will send a resounding message that no one directs or inspires attacks against the U.S. and gets away with it."

The Trump campaign promptly responded to Clinton's press conference, calling it "desperate."

"These are the desperate attacks of a flailing campaign sinking in the polls," Senior Communications Advisor Jason Miller said in a written statement.