- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

LAS VEGAS — Hillary Clinton was routinely “outsmarted and outplayed” by Russian President Vladimir Putin while secretary of state, Donald Trump charged Wednesday night, saying the chaos in Syria and elsewhere across the Middle East is proof that Moscow has diplomatically outmaneuvered the U.S.

At the final presidential debate here, Mr. Trump launched a direct assault on Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy credentials.”

“She has been outsmarted by Putin, and all you have to do is look at the Middle East. They’ve taken over,” Mr. Trump said. “She has been outsmarted and outplayed worse than anybody I’ve ever seen in any government … and she always will be.”

Mrs. Clinton quickly pivoted to nuclear weapons, saying Mr. Trump’s past statements — which have seemed to suggest that the Republican would be content to allow other nations to acquire nuclear arms — are deeply troubling. She also said Mr. Trump would walk away from key alliances such as NATO.

“Donald wants to tear up our alliances. I think it makes the world safer and, frankly, I think it makes the United States safer,” she said.

Mr. Trump has denied he would pull the U.S. out of NATO, but has maintained that he would force allies to pay for American military protection.

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