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Trump: Iranians who harass U.S. Navy 'will be shot out of the water'

 (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Days after Iranian sailors harassed an American Navy vessel, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Friday he would have had them “shot out of the water.”

"With Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water," Trump said.

Last weekend, seven boats containing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy approached the U.S. coastal patrol ship Firebolt in the Persian Gulf. One of the boats stopped directly in the ship’s path, forcing it to maneuver to avoid a collision.

Trump made the remarks Friday night in Pensacola, Fla., in a speech that was heavy on criticism of Hillary Clinton, including labeling the Democratic nominee “an unstable person.”

Trump said Clinton avoiding prosecution over her email scandal was her single greatest accomplishment, and added that she could kill somebody at the rally and get away with it.

"Because she's being so protected, she could walk into this arena right now and shoot someone with 20,000 people watching, right smack in the middle of the heart, and she wouldn't be prosecuted,” Trump said. “That's what's happened to our country."

The comments brought to mind a statement Trump made in the GOP primary, when he said he could kill people and not lose the favor of his supporters.

“I have the most loyal people, did you ever see that? I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot people and I wouldn’t lose voters,” he said in Iowa in January.  

Clinton supporters say Trump on Friday was trying to distract from recent revelations that his foundation made a $25,000 political donation to a group supporting Florida Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi at the same time Bondi’s office was looking into allegations that Trump University defrauded its students. The foundation was fined by the IRS.

"Donald Trump used outrageous and violent language about Hillary Clinton at his rally in Bondi's home state to distract from the latest revelations," said Brad Woodhouse, president of Correct The Record, a pro-Clinton Super PAC.

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