.
.
.
.

Seeking to regain ground, Trump calls Clinton corrupt and a liar

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump staged a harsh attack on his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on Wednesday

Published: Updated:

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump staged a harsh attack on his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, accusing her of corruption and dangerous incompetence as he tried to put his campaign back on track after recent setbacks.

In a speech in New York that Clinton's campaign called “nutty” and that was criticized by some Republicans, Trump argued that the former secretary of state is part of a political establishment that has cheated American workers through bad trade deals and endangered US national security.

Both candidates are seeking to overcome their high unfavorable ratings among voters at the Nov. 8 election by painting the other as a villain who puts personal gain over the interests of less powerful Americans.

Even by the standards of modern presidential races, the sparring between Clinton, a former secretary of state and U.S. senator, and brash businessman Trump has made for unusually acidic rhetoric.

“Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency of the United States,” Trump told a small crowd of supporters at a hotel he owns in Manhattan, accusing her of having run the State Department “like her own personal hedge fund.”

Clinton's staff quickly dismissed that attack and others as “lies.”

Trump read his speech from a teleprompter to curb his off-the-cuff comments but he pulled no punches. He said Clinton “has perfected the politics of personal profit and theft” and described her as “a world-class liar.”

Republican Lindsey Graham, a US senator from South Carolina who has so far declined to support Trump, said he disagreed that Clinton may be the most corrupt person to have run for the White House, and challenged Trump to become more presidential.

“My advice to Mr. Trump would be to make the case that you have the temperament, knowledge and judgment to be president,” he said on CNN. “That’s the mountain you’ve got to climb.”

Trump's campaign has been distracted in recent weeks by racially-charged comments he made about a Mexican-American judge and the Republican's firing of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski this week.

The New York real estate mogul is trailing Clinton in most opinion polls, and campaign finance figures released on Monday show he has raised only a fraction of the amount Clinton has brought in, although Trump has said he is willing to loan his campaign more money.