By Amanda Becker
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hillary Clinton on Friday warned that the deep budget cuts to foreign aid and diplomacy proposed by President Donald Trump to fund increased military spending would make the United States, and the world, less safe.
“We are seeing signals of a shift that should alarm us all, this administration’s proposed budget cuts to international health, development and diplomacy would be a blow to women and children and a grave mistake,” Clinton said during a speech at Georgetown University.
The Trump administration has asked Congress for a 28 percent, or $10.9 billion, cut in U.S. State Department funding and other international programs to help pay for a 10 percent, $54 billion hike in military spending next year.
The White House has shrugged off concerns from Democrats, some Republicans and current and former national security leaders about the impact, saying the proposed cuts are Trump making good on promises he made during his presidential race against Clinton, the Democratic nominee.
Clinton, also the State Department’s top diplomat during the Obama administration, was speaking at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, which presents an annual award in Clinton’s name to women who have advocated for peaceful solutions.
“Advancing the rights and full participation of women and girls is the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” said Clinton, the first woman to be nominated for president by a major U.S. party.
“It’s not only the right and moral goal for us to be pursuing … this is strategic and necessary for matters of peace, prosperity and security.”
Clinton garnered some of the most enthusiastic applause from the university students in attendance when she took a subtle jab at her former presidential rival.
Shortly after Clinton praised the institute for making an “evidence-based case” for promoting women’s roles, she stopped to remark: “Here I go again, talking about research, evidence, and facts.”
Clinton said during her contentious race against Trump that he was “an absolute avalanche of falsehoods.”
One of Trump’s top advisers said the administration used “alternative facts” after a public disagreement over inaugural attendance.
(Reporting By Amanda Becker; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)