Trump calls former Defense Secretary Gates a 'clown,' following scathing op-ed

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (ABC NEWS) -- Donald Trump took aim again at former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at a Colorado rally today, one day after Gates slammed the GOP presidential hopeful in a scathing Wall Street Journal op-ed.

"We had a clown today, an absolute clown, Robert Gates. He’s supposed to be an expert, he’s been there forever,” Trump told supporters at a rally at Colorado Springs' JetCenters of Colorado. "He speaks badly about everything. Never met the guy, never saw him. I saw him on television, didn’t like him. The end result is look where we are. He's a mess. Okay? He's a mess."

In the Wall Street Journal piece, Gates wrote that Trump is "beyond repair" and unsuited to be Commander-in-Chief.

"He has no clue about the difference between negotiating a business deal and negotiating with sovereign nations," Gates wrote. "A thin-skinned, temperamental, shoot-from-the-hip and lip, uninformed commander-in-chief is too great a risk for America."

Trump, in a moment of candor, admitted, "I don’t like critics. I like the people that get it done and get it done right."

As Trump entered the rally, he commented on tonight's explosion in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood that left at least 26 people injured. Reports about the incident began breaking as Trump's planed landed in Colorado Springs.

"I must tell you that just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what’s going on," Trump said, even though the nature of the explosion has not yet been determined by law enforcement officials, let alone that a bomb caused it.

He continued, "But boy we are living in a time, we better very tough, folks. We better get very, very tough. Just happened. So we'll find out, but it's, it's a terrible thing that’s going on in our world and in our country. And we are going to get tough and smart and vigilant."
 

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