Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has directly called Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton "the devil" and accused Bernie Sanders of "making a deal with the devil" in endorsing her.
Speaking at a rally in Pennsylvania last night on Monday night, Trump said the Vermont senator, who endorsed Clinton in July, "made a deal with the devil. She's the devil. He made a deal with the devil."
In an interview with NBC-affiliate KUSA in Colorado Springs on Friday, Trump once again referred to Sanders' "deal with the devil" and said he had "buyers remorse" now that the deal was completed.
NBC notes that Monday's speech marks the first time Trump has flat out equated Clinton with Lucifer, but not the first time the GOP nominee has alluded to it. In the past, he has referred to Clinton as "crooked Hillary."
The comments come amid controversy over Trump's attack on Khizr and Ghazala, the Muslim parents of US Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed by a car bomb in 2004 in Iraq. Khizr Khan spoke at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) last Thursday night, and reflected on the sacrifice his son had made for the country and criticized Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the country.
In response to the speech, Trump said Kahn "viciously attacked" him and suggested that Ghazala Khan, who remained silent throughout her husband's speech, might not have been "allowed" to speak due to the harsh restrictions placed on women by some conservative Muslims.
"She had nothing to say, maybe she was not allowed to speak, you tell me," he added on Sunday.
Ghazala Khan later penned an op-ed for the Washington Post explaining that it was her grief, not her Muslim faith, that prompted her to refrain from speaking.
Trump's comments were quickly condemned by many in the Republican party, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a former prisoner of war and the party's 2008 nominee, said that he "cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump's statement" disparaging Mr. and Mrs. Khan's convention address.
"I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers, or candidates," he added.
Nevertheless, Trump refused to back down, tweeting, "This story is not about Mr Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the US. Get smart!"
Meanwhile, a CNN poll released Monday found Hillary Clinton gaining 7 percentage points from before the Democratic convention, giving her a 52%-to-43% lead, while a CBS News poll out Monday showed Clinton with a lead of 46% to 39%, compared with a tie of 42% to 42% before her convention.