Trump reveals his national security plan — while Clinton says he doesn’t have one

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Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer - RTX2L1B2

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JUDY WOODRUFF: Turning to the campaign for the White house, the candidates showed up in hard-fought states, where the race is closest, focusing on national security, while slamming each other.

Lisa Desjardins reports.

LISA DESJARDINS: To the campaign battleground of Youngstown, Ohio, Donald Trump brought his outline of a more protective America, generally less involved overseas, but more focused on fighting the Islamic State.

DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: If I become president, the era of nation-building will be brought to a very swift and decisive end.


LISA DESJARDINS: The Republican nominee outlined three broad points. He would hold joint military operations with any country fighting ISIS. The campaign confirmed that could include current U.S. adversary and Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. He would ask law enforcement here to find new ways to I.D. radicals. And he would freeze immigration from regions where background checks are too difficult, while adding a new test.

DONALD TRUMP: The time is overdue to develop new screening test for the threats we face today. I call it extreme vetting. I call it extreme, extreme vetting. Our country has enough problems. We don’t need more. And these are problems like we have never had before.


LISA DESJARDINS: Hillary Clinton’s campaign responded before the speech with this ad attacking Trump’s national security credentials with his own words.

DONALD TRUMP: Putin did call me a genius.

GEN. BARRY MCCAFFREY (RET.), U.S. Army: His comments are impulsive. They’re unsettling.

LISA DESJARDINS: The anti-Trump theme dominated, as Clinton took the stage in Scranton, Pennsylvania, with native son and Vice President Joe Biden.

VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN: I was proud. My son Beau served for a year in Iraq, came back highly decorated soldier.


VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN: I must tell you, I must tell you, had Donald Trump been president, I would have thrown my body in front of him. No, I really mean it, to keep him from going, if the judgment was based on Trump’s decision.

LISA DESJARDINS: Clinton repeated her attack on Trump’s preparedness.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: Sometimes, he says won’t tell anyone what he will do because he wants to keep his plan — quote — “secret.”


HILLARY CLINTON: And then it turns out secret is, he has no plan.


HILLARY CLINTON: And that was very clear when he said, “I know more about ISIS than the generals.”

No, no, Donald, you don’t.

LISA DESJARDINS: For weeks, both candidates have insisted the other is not fit to be president. With 85 days until the Election Day, that question is dominating the campaign trail.

For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lisa Desjardins.

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