Candidates talk military at Commander-in-Chief forum

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a "commander in chief forum" hosted by NBC in New York on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

NEW YORK (AP) — Republican Donald Trump leveled unusually harsh criticism against the U.S. military during a national security forum on NBC Wednesday night.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with 'Today' show co-anchor Matt Lauer at the NBC Commander-In-Chief Forum held at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier Intrepid, New York, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with ‘Today’ show co-anchor Matt Lauer at the NBC Commander-In-Chief Forum held at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier Intrepid, New York, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump said that America’s generals have been “reduced to rubble” under President Barack Obama and suggested he would fire some of them if he wins the presidency in November.

Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton each fielded 30 minutes of questions about their experience and judgment to be commander in chief. While the candidates never appeared on stage together, their back-to-back sessions served as a preview of sorts for their upcoming debates.

By virtue of a coin flip, Clinton took the stage first and quickly found herself responding at length to questions about her years in government. She reiterated that she had made mistakes in relying on a personal email account and private server as secretary of state and in voting for the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a senator. But Clinton defended her support for U.S. military intervention to help oust a dictator in Libya, despite the chaotic aftermath and asked to be judged on the “totality” of her record.

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