Clinton attacks Trump's foreign policy as 'dangerously incoherent'

Clinton: Trump 'Temperamentally Unfit' to Be President
Clinton: Trump 'Temperamentally Unfit' to Be President

WASHINGTON, June 2 (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lambasted Donald Trump's foreign policy platform as "dangerously incoherent" in a speech on Thursday that cast her Republican rival as both a dangerous and laughable figure.

A former U.S. secretary of state, Clinton attacked Trump for his policies and his character, suggesting Trump might start a nuclear war if elected to the White House simply because "someone got under his very thin skin."

"Donald Trump's ideas are not just different, they are dangerously incoherent," she said to a room of supporters in San Diego, California. "They're not even really ideas, just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies."

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Clinton, the front-runner in the race to become the Democratic presidential nominee, delivered her speech as she seeks to shift her attention to the Nov. 8 election against likely rival Trump and away from Bernie Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, who is continuing his longshot bid for the nomination.

Trump, the Republicans' presumptive nominee, has said he would sit down with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to try to stop Pyongyang's nuclear program and has criticized the decades-old NATO alliance with mainly European nations as obsolete and too costly for the United States.

Clinton derided these and other positions, promising she would do a better job keeping the United States safe and standing in front of a backdrop of 19 large U.S. flags, an unusual abundance even by the standards of presidential campaign events.

Trump, a billionaire businessman who has never held elected office or worked in government before, says he has experience dealing with foreign governments through setting up hotels, resorts, golf courses and beauty pageants in foreign countries. Clinton, who is also a former U.S. senator and former first lady, mocked this.

"He says he has foreign policy experience because he ran the Miss Universe pageant in Russia," she said to loud laughter.

Clinton attacked Trump on his comments about the housing crisis just last week:

Trump has talked tough on foreign policy. He has said he would bring back waterboarding and other brutal interrogation techniques for terrorism suspects that are widely regarded as torture and were discontinued by Democratic President Barack Obama.

He has also vowed to renegotiate trade deals, called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country, and said he would ask members of the 28-nation NATO alliance to "pay up" or "get out."

Trump has criticized Clinton for her handling of foreign policy during her 2009-2013 stint as foreign secretary, including the Sept. 11, 2012, attack by Islamist militants on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

He cites Clinton's support for the Iraq war - launched by former Republican President George W. Bush - as another example of her shortcomings.

At a rally Wednesday night in Sacramento, California, Trump said he had seen a copy of Clinton's speech and "it was such lies about my foreign policy."

(Additional reporting by Chris Khan in New York; Writing by Doina Chiacu and Jonathan Allen; Editing by Frances Kerry)