- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 20, 2015

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday said Donald Trump is engaging in “irresponsible” and “appalling” behavior for failing to shoot down false claims that President Obama is a Muslim and was not born in the U.S.

In an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” the former secretary of state said Mr. Trump, who sits atop Republican presidential primary polls, must step in and defuse the “paranoia” now growing among some in the GOP.

“He is fueling a level of paranoia and prejudice against all kinds of people. When you light those fires you better recognize they can get out of control and he should start dampening them down and putting them out,” Mrs. Clinton said. “To play into some of the worst impulses people have these days that are really being lit up by the Internet and other conspiracy-minded theories is irresponsible. It’s appalling.”

At a campaign rally last week, Mr. Trump did not interrupt a questioner who said Mr. Obama is a Muslim and was not born in this country. The real estate mogul has defended his handling of the situation, saying Sunday that he does not believe he needed to correct the record.

“I don’t get into it,” Mr. Trump said when asked about the president’s religion and place of birth on ABC’s “This Week.” “I think about jobs. I’m talking about the military. I don’t get into it. I mean, they ask that question and I just want to talk about the things, because frankly, it’s no longer of interest to me. We’re beyond that, and it’s just something I don’t talk about.”

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