Donald Trump on Wednesday repeatedly called President Obama “the founder” of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. When Hugh Hewitt gave him the chance to distance himself from these comments on Thursday morning, he doubled down instead.
“ISIS is honoring President Obama,” the Republican presidential candidate said at a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “He is the founder of ISIS. He is the founder of ISIS, OK? He’s the founder. He founded ISIS. And I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton. Cofounder — crooked Hillary Clinton.”
These comments mark a reversal for Trump, who last week called Clinton “the founder of ISIS.”
The Donald explained his reasoning, again arguing that he did not support the war in Iraq — despite evidence to the contrary — and criticizing Obama for pulling troops out prematurely.
“Normally you want to clean up; he made a bigger mess out of it. He made such a mess. And then you had Hillary with Libya, so sad,” Trump said. “We should never have gotten out the way we got out. We unleashed terrible fury all over the Middle East.”
“Instead of allowing some small forces behind to maybe, just maybe, keep it under control, we pulled out,” he explained. “Then Obama came in, and normally you want to clean up and he made a bigger mess. We’re not respected. We’re laughed at all over the world.”
On CNBC Thursday morning, The Donald clarified further. “He was the founder of ISIS, absolutely. The way he removed our troops — you shouldn’t have gone in. I was against the war in Iraq. Totally against it.”
“That mistake was made. It was a horrible mistake — one of the worst mistakes in the history of our country,” he declared. “We destabilized the Middle East and we’ve been paying the price for it for years. He was the founder — absolutely, the founder. In fact, in sports they have awards, he gets the most valuable player award. Him and Hillary. I mean, she gets it, too.”
With comments like these — no matter how accurate his critique of the troop withdrawal — Trump seems determined to waste this opportunity to win the White House, running against one of the most corrupt, least trusted, and least liked Democratic candidates in history.
These statements also came the day it was discovered that the Department of Justice refused the FBI’s request to investigate the Clinton Foundation, and the day new emails were released, providing further evidence of Clinton’s cronyism. Many have said Clinton is the only candidate bad enough to lose to Trump, but it is even more true that Trump is the only candidate bad enough to lose to Clinton.
Next Page: Trump doubles down, rejects Hugh Hewitt’s lifeline.
When radio host Hugh Hewitt offered Trump a lifeline, encouraging him to clarify his position, The Donald refused to walk it back.
“Last night, you said the president was the founder of ISIS. I know what you meant,” Hewitt suggested. “You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace.”
Trump rejected this olive branch. “No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS.”
Hewitt responded, “But he’s not sympathetic to them. He hates them. He’s trying to kill them.” Again, The Donald shut him down. “I don’t care. He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, okay?”
Trump insisted that his comment was not a mistake. “No, it’s not a mistake. Everyone’s liking it. I think they’re liking it. I gave him the most valuable player award.”
Yet, when The Donald asked Hewitt, “do you not like that?” the radio host responded flatly, “I don’t.”
“I think I would say they created, they lost the peace. They created the Libyan vacuum, they created the vacuum into which ISIS came, but they didn’t create ISIS. That’s what I would say,” Hewitt explained.
“Well, I disagree,” Trump insisted. “I mean, with his bad policies, that’s why ISIS came about. If he would have done things properly, you wouldn’t have had ISIS. Therefore, he was the founder of ISIS.”
— Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN) August 11, 2016
Check out the video on the next page!