Donald Trump tied presidential rival Hillary Clinton to the "rigged economy," the rise of the Islamic State and government corruption in a sharply critical speech on Wednesday in Manhattan.
"Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency of the United States," Trump said at his hotel in SoHo while carefully reading off a TelePromptor, a new tool for a candidate known for speaking off-the-cuff.
Linking donations—many from foreign sources—received by the Clinton Foundation to decisions made by the Obama administration while Clinton served as secretary of state, the presumptive Republican nominee accused her of running the department as “her own personal hedge fund, doing favors for oppressive regimes, and many others, in exchange for cash.”
His source for many of the charges was Clinton Cash, a book published last year that documents the Clintons' financial gains over the past 15 years as their family foundation grew. John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chairman, has dismissed the book as "written by a former Bush operative" who "cherry-picked information that's been disclosed, and woven a bunch of conspiracy theories about it.
The speech began by railing against the establishment—a pillar of his outsider run for president—but quickly moved to railing against Clinton's record in public service.
"I will end the special interest monopoly in Washington D.C.," Trump said. "The other candidate in this race has spent her entire life making money for special interests."
One of his main targets were "disastrous" trade deals supported by his opponent. “We’ve lost nearly one-third of our manufacturing jobs since these two Hillary-backed agreements were signed,” he said.
In decrying trade deals, he also appealed to supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, whose strong Democratic run against Clinton was partly fueled by the issue.
"That's why we're asking Bernie Sanders voters to join our movement so we can fixed the system for all Americans," he said. "So important.”
The senator says he'll work to defeat Trump, but has yet to endorse the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. A June 14th Bloomberg Politics national poll found that barely half of those who favored Sanders — 55 percent — plan to vote for Clinton.
Before Trump even delivered the speech, Clinton's campaign sought to rebut it, sending what it described as fact-checks to a series of allegations about Clinton's fundraising and her family's foundation.
Her own speech later Wednesday would focus on policy, however, a senior policy adviser said.
“She will talk both about how we drive more growth and how we drive more fairness,” the adviser, Jake Sullivan, said. “And she will distill many of the things she’s been talking about over the course of the past year into a set of core policy priorities that she will continue to discuss” until November.