Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Epstein asked Hillary Clinton on Monday if she was "concerned" that the bombings in New Jersey and New York were attempts by Islamic State sympathizers or "maybe the Russians" to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump.
Epstein repeated in her question Clinton’s line about Trump being "widely seen" as the candidate ISIS terrorists would prefer to become the next American president
"Are you concerned that this weekend’s attacks or potential incidents in the coming weeks might be an attempt by ISIS or ISIS sympathizers, or really any other group, maybe the Russians, to influence the presidential race in some way, and presumably try to drive votes to Donald Trump, who is, as you’ve said before, widely seen as perhaps being somebody who they would be more willing to—or see as an easier person to be against?" she asked.
Clinton said she did not want to "speculate," but added that much of Trump’s rhetoric had been "seized on" by terrorists who are looking to make this fight a war against Islam. The White House struck a similar tone on Monday, repeatedly saying that the ISIS "narrative" of fighting the West had to be debunked.
Bloomberg's @jeneps asks Clinton if ISIS or Russians might be trying to influence race & drive votes to Trump. "I don’t want to speculate."
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) September 19, 2016
"Rather than a war against jihadists, violent terrorists, people who number in the maybe tens of thousands, not the tens of millions, they want to use that to recruit more fighters to their cause, by turning it into a religious conflict," Clinton said. "That’s why I’ve been very clear. We’re going after the bad guys and we’re going to get them, but we’re not going go after an entire religion and give ISIS exactly what it’s wanting in order for them to enhance their position."
Note: This article has been updated to identify the reporter who asked the question.