WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Thursday recounted the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in his complex in Abbottabad, Pakistan, while seeking to hammer her Republican rival Donald Trump as “temperamentally unfit” to be president.

At a Thursday rally in Charlotte, North Carloina, the former secretary of state talked about President Barack Obama’s decision to go after the al Qaeda leader while discussing her national security experience and the kind of tough decisions that are made in the White House.

“It was not an easy choice, by any means.” Clinton said. “That’s why who sits at the head of the Situation Room has to be able to sort out fact from opinion, has to be able to ask the hard questions, pursue even the most difficult leads.”

“It’s a story that to me illustrates our values in such a clear, unambiguous way,” she added. 

“I was part of the small group advising President  Obama whether or not the intelligence we had was good enough to take a chance, to go deep into Pakistan, to try to finally bring Osama bin Laden to justice.

Her comments came three days before the 15th anniversary of the al- Qaeda attack on the twin towers in New York that killed more than 3,000 people, resulting in the US invading Afghanistan.

“We went through that hour after hour after hour. And then the president went around the table asking each of us what we advised. And we were split because it was not some kind of easy layup. I believed it was strong enough that we needed to take action and I supported taking action that would determine whether or not we were successful. That meant sending in special forces,” said the 68-year-old former secretary of state.

“Now, you know what happened. I was in that Situation Room watching that day. The most stressful 30 minutes of my life probably. Because you remember one of the helicopters nicked - clicked on - hit its tail on the wall going into the courtyard and became disabled.

“That meant — thank goodness there were good contingency plans, but you had to get another helicopter in to take out the SEALs who would no longer be able to fly out on that one,” she said, describing the event of the day.

“But here’s what I want to tell you because it is a story that, to me, illustrate our values in such a clear, unambiguous way. You’ve heard Donald Trump say he would order our troops to torture. You’ve heard him say he would order our troops to kill family members of terrorists. You would know that he was advocating illegal actions against our own laws, as well as the laws of war.

“Thank goodness there’s a code of honour in our military stronger than the bluster and the bullying of Donald Trump because here is what happened on that night,” she said amid applause.

Meanwhile, Trump, the 70-year-old real estate tycoon, claimed Osama would have been caught long ago had he been in power.

Clinton also slammed Trump for saying he would allow family members of terrorists to be killed and support interrogation techniques like waterboarding. The billionaire businessman has since walked back those remarks, saying that he wouldn’t order the military to break international laws. Clinton continued telling the story of the bin Laden raid, saying that prior to the mission, troops “rounded up” the women, children and family members of terrorists to get them as far away as possible from the helicopter to prevent them from getting hurt. 

“That, Donald Trump, is what American honour looks like, and that is what we’re going to stand up and defend in the face of your outrageous, disgraceful attacks on the men and women of our armed forces,” she said.

Clinton held the rally a few hours after she held a press conference for the first time in 278 days. She spent a bulk of the time needling Trump for his comments at MSNBC’s military-focused forum Wednesday night, where the GOP nominee said US generals have been reduced to “rubble” under President Obama. Trump also called Russian President Vladimir Putin a strong leader.