Trump Doubles-Down That Obama ‘Literally’ Founded ISIS

Donald Trump said twice Thursday that he meant exactly what he said when he called President Barack Obama the “founder of ISIS” and objected when a conservative radio show host tried to clarify the GOP nominee’s position.

Trump was asked by host Hugh Hewitt about the comments Trump made Wednesday night in Florida, and Hewitt said he understood Trump to mean “that he (Obama) created the vacuum, he lost the peace.”

Trump objected.

“No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS,” Trump said. “I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”

Hewitt pushed back again, saying that Obama is “not sympathetic” to ISIS and “hates” and is “trying to kill them.”

“I don’t care,” Trump said, according to a show transcript. “He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, okay?”

Hewitt and Trump went back and forth after that, with Hewitt warning Trump that his critics would seize on his use of “founder” as more example of Trump being loose with words.

But the GOP nominee remained steadfast, saying it was “no mistake” what he said, standing by his labeling of the Democratic opponent as a “co-founder.”

“Do you not like that?” Trump asked Hewitt.

“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 said.

“Well, I disagree,” Trump replied, and Hewitt moved on.

The criticism that the policies of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are mostly originating from right-wing conspiracy cranks like Breitbart.com, Alex Jones, or Senator John McCain. Taking the idea a step further to suggest Obama and Clinton literally founded the terrorist group is something far more nefarious.

Former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul hit Trump on the comments, saying they mimicked Russian talking points designed to sow anger toward the US and the West.
“BTW, Trumps line that Obama founded ISIS echoes exactly a myth propagated by Russian state-controlled media and bloggers,” McFaul tweeted.

(h/t CNN)

Reality

Trump claiming that because President Obama withdrew troops from Iraq, thus creating ISIS, is patently false.

First, Obama was honoring an agreement between Iraq and the United States for a timeline to withdraw troops signed on December 14, 2008 by President George W. Bush. You might remember the press conference to announce the strategic agreement more for Bush dodging a shoe thrown at him than the actual details of the timeline.

Second, will require quick history lesson to show at no time did Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama walk into a room and declare, “Hey guys you know what would be a great idea? A new Islamic caliphate in the Levant!”

ISIS was originally formed in 1999 under the name “Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad” and was greatly expanded in 2003 by former members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party who were out of a job after the George W. Bush-lead invasion of Iraq, which was based on faulty evidence. Without a strong-man dictator in the area and a weak Iraqi government, ISIS had a chance to expand even more by pledging allegiance to Osama Bin Laden and changed their name to al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI or ISI) in 2004.

After years of fighting in the Iraqi Civil War and blowing themselves up, in 2011 some members of AQI saw an opportunity in the Syrian Civil War and left on an expedition calling themselves al-Nusra. Al-Nusra joined the Free Syrian Army (FEA), a loose confederation of different factions fighting the Assad Syrian government, and were known to be the largest, best organized, and most experienced, having fought an insurgent campaign against American forces since the start of the invasion of Iraq. This caused many Islamic fundamentalist FEA fighters leave their factions for al-Nusra, where their membership continued to grow. In December 2011, shortly after al-Nusra joined the FEA, President Obama declared the group a terrorist organization, and prevented them from receiving weapons from the US in the fight against the Assad government.

After political infighting Al-Qaeda disavowed AQI, and eventually AQI and al-Nusra merged together under the new name ISIS in 2013.

This is not the first time Donald Trump has made this false claim. Back in January 2nd at a rally in Biloxi, Mississippi he told the crowd that, “Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama.” On June 13th in an interview with Fox News and again in a tweet on June 15th, Trump suggested that President Obama was an ISIS sympathizer.

Media

Hugh Hewitt Show:

Speech at National Association of Home Builders:

Trump Claims Obama and Clinton Founded ISIS, Which Formed in 1999

Donald Trump said Wednesday that President Obama “founded” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“ISIS is honoring President Obama,” he said during a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “He’s the founder of ISIS. He founded ISIS.”

“I would say the co-founder would be ‘Crooked’ Hillary Clinton,” Trump added of Obama’s former secretary of State and his Democratic rival.

(h/t The Hill)

Reality

Donald Trump has a habit of repeating or starting untruthful conspiracy theories.

A quick history lesson, ISIS was formed in 1999 and greatly expanded in 2003 by former members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party who were out of a job after the George W. Bush-lead invasion of Iraq, which was based on faulty evidence.

In 1999, Hillary Clinton was too busy celebrating with her husband, President Bill Clinton, with a victory over impeachment hearings, while Barack Obama was busy teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School while serving in the Illinois State Senate.

In 2003 at the start of the invasion, Barack Obama was still an Illinois State Senator and Hillary Clinton was still a junior Senator of New York.

Neither founded or was in a position to create an Islamic State back in 1999.

Media

Donald Trump Pushes Conspiracy Theory That Obama Supports ISIS

Twitter

Donald Trump said he was right to imply that President Obama is an ISIS sympathizer.

In an attempt to defend his controversial claims that the president supports the terrorist group, the presumptive Republican nominee tweeted a story from anti-Obama website Breitbart.com that cites a newly discovered “secret” memo the website says proves Obama is an ISIS supporter.

The memo, as it turns out, is neither secret nor does it demonstrate the administration’s support for ISIS or any other policy. Indeed, it’s a recently declassified and heavily redacted intelligence field report from August 2012 about the worsening security situation in Iraq, obtained by the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information lawsuit.

Breitbart falsely concludes that because the memo mentions that al Qaeda in Iraq (a precursor to ISIS) is fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Obama administration therefore supports ISIS.

The Obama administration, particularly through its State Department, has spoken at length about the complicated process of vetting the array of opposition groups in order to avoid supporting those with ties to extremism.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest Monday responded to a question about Trump’s claims the same day. “Well, I think what is clear is, if you take a look at the president’s record, it speaks for itself,” Earnest said. “And that record includes a lot of dead terrorists.”

(h/t ABC News)

Reality

The Washington Post did an enormous fact-check and came to the conclusion that the Brietbart.com article was a pack of crap. This should come to the surprise of no-one who reads Brietbart.com and can recognize it as dishonest and willfully deceptive. For more information you can read the fact-check here, but in the Washington Post’s expert summary:

“This is what happens when people with little understanding of policy or context choose to willfully misinterpret documents. This is a relatively unimportant memo, with little information not in newspapers at the time. Rather than showing that the Obama administration is supporting terrorist groups, the information in the memo demonstrates why the administration was so reluctant to back rebel groups in Syria, often to the annoyance of Republican hawks.

Moreover, the memo was not sent directly to Clinton’s office, as asserted by Breitbart.

Trump, as a presumptive presidential nominee, really needs to rely on more accurate information when making factual claims.”

This all stems from Donald Trump’s debunked rekindling of the old conservative trope that President Barack Obama is a secret Muslim hellbent on overthrowing the government. Donald Trump said:

Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump said on Fox News. “And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.

 

Donald Trump Connects President Obama to Orlando Shooting

Donald Trump seemed to suggest that President Barack Obama had an ulterior motive concerning how he addresses and handles terror attacks, because he does not say the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Trump said Monday morning on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends”:

We’re led by a man who is very — look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind, you know, people can’t believe it.

 

People cannot believe, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and he can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.

Asked earlier why he had tweeted that Obama should resign because he wouldn’t say the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said:

He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It’s one or the other, and either one is unacceptable.

A Trump spokeswoman did not respond to a request for an explanation of what Trump meant. But asked on NBC’s “Today Show” about the comments, Trump said that “a lot of people” thought Obama does not want to understand terrorism.

Well, there a lot of people who think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. A lot of people think maybe he doesn’t want to know about it. I happen to think he just doesn’t know what he’s doing, but there are many people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it, he doesn’t want to see what’s really happening.

And later, speaking to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, Trump offered yet another explanation when questioned about what he meant.

I can’t define it. Nobody knows what’s going on. Nobody knows why (Obama) doesn’t have more anger, more competitive zeal. It’s almost like he’s falling asleep.

Trump has been on the defense since tweeting Sunday that he did not need congratulations for being “right” about the Orlando nightclub shooting. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that Obama should resign for not using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.” Obama dubbed the shooting an “act of terror” and an “act of hate” in his response Sunday afternoon.

Reality

So instead of thinking diplomatically on foreign affairs and having a tangible policy, Trump instead turns to an old baseless conservative political smear from 2007 that Obama is a covert Muslim extremist.

For those who may be too young or have forgotten, Fox News was famous for their political smears against the then-Senator Obama saying things like:

None of these hand any kernel of truth. So it came to no surprise when Fox News defended Trump, writing:

The Washington Post story featured comments Trump made earlier in the day on Fox News, when he made a made a vague statement about Obama interpreted by some as a reference to his sympathies.

Interpreted by some? Excuse me? If Donald Trump was not trying to infer the right-wing conspiracy theory that President Obama does not act because he is an undercover Muslim, can Fox News please try to come up with a plausible explanation of what Trump was actually talking about?

Fact is, this is not the first time Donald Trump has pushed the Muslim Obama conspiracy theory:

Finally, Trump took the opportunity to bring up the old conservative trope that Obama refuses to acknowledge terrorism, and until he does we’ll be vulnerable to terrorists… or something. However there is a very good reason why President Obama, and before him George W. Bush, will not speak the words “radical Islamic terrorism” when referring to terrorist groups like ISIS. They may sound like small words to Republican critics like Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, but they have big meaning. The members of ISIS and other terrorist groups are desperate for legitimacy. This is why ISIS calls themselves the “Islamic State.” They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam. And they propagate the notion that America, and the West, is at war with Islam. For a President of the United States to infer that we are at war with the Islamic religion, it would have immediate consequences from our Muslim allies in the middle-east as well as give terrorist groups the legitimacy they exactly desire.

Media

Fox and Friends:

NBC Today Show:

O’Reilly Factor:

 

Trump Suggests That Obama Doesn’t Want to Get Rid of Terrorism

Michael Savage

Trump told radio host Michael Savage that Obama refuses to say the magic words “radical Islamic terrorism” because maybe he doesn’t want to stop the terrorists.

We have a president that won’t even use the words and if you don’t use the words, you’re never going to get rid of the problem. We have a — maybe he doesn’t want to get rid of the problem. I don’t know exactly what’s going on.

Savage seemed to know exactly what Trump meant.

“Ah ha. Now you’re going as close to the board as a hockey player can go without hitting the puck into the stands. I get it,” he said.

(h/t Right Wing Watch)

Reality

Sending a dog whistle to the GOP’s anti-Obama base, Donald Trump has taken to saying that “there’s something we don’t know about” the president when it comes to issues like terrorism and the resettlement of Syrian refugees.

While Trump has never come out and said what that he thinks that “something” is, the GOP presidential frontrunner told conservative radio host Michael Savage that he believes Obama may actually be a terrorist sympathizer.

Donald Trump continues to propagate an old baseless conservative political smear from 2007 that Obama is a covert Muslim extremist hellbent on destroying democracy.

For those who may be too young or have forgotten, Fox News was famous for their political smears against the then-Senator Obama saying things like:

Media

Trump asks if Obama would have attended Scalia’s funeral were it held at a mosque

Twitter

Donald Trump on Saturday suggested President Barack Obama would have attended the funeral of Antonin Scalia had the late Supreme Court justice’s service been held in a mosque.

“I wonder if President Obama would have attended the funeral of Justice Scalia if it were held in a Mosque? Very sad that he did not go.”

(h/t CNN)

Reality

Trump inferred an old baseless conservative political smear from 2007 that Obama is a covert Muslim extremist hellbent on destroying democracy.

For those who may be too young or have forgotten, Fox News was famous for their political smears against the then-Senator Obama saying things like:

  • Obama had attended a radical Islamic madrassa when he was a child in Indonesia.
  • Obama supported the release of the “Lockerbie Bomber” Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.
  • When Obama was a community organizer he was training for a radical overthrow of the government.

None of these hand any kernel of truth.

Trump Pushes Origin of Birther Claim on Hillary

After Donald Trump allows a supporter to repeat the lie that President Obama is a Muslim, he faced a round of criticism and questions about why he didn’t correct the supporter.

Then the host of NBC’s Meet the Press asks Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson if it would be okay to have a Muslim president and Carson said, “I absolutely would not agree with that.

This prompted Hillary Clinton to tweet, “Can a Muslim be President of the United States of America? In a word: Yes. Now let’s move on.”

Then Trump responds with a tweet of his own. “Just remember, the birther movement was started by Hillary Clinton in 2008. She was all in!”

Reality

First of all, President Obama was born in Hawaii. Shut up.

The first idea that Barack Obama was not a naturally born citizen can actually be traced back to 2004 with the loony racist ravings of Judah Benjamin and Andy Martin. But the origins of the birther conspiracy theory for the 2008 presidential cycle did indeed start with supporters of Hillary Clinton, but there is no evidence that it came from Clinton directly. Most of the noise from the idiot birther conspiracy theorists came after Jun 13, 2008, days after Clinton ended her campaign on June 7, 2008.

While it is true there was some hand from Clinton supporters, the idea that she started it or was “all in” as Trump claimed, is pure fiction.

Links

http://www.politico.com/story/2011/04/birtherism-where-it-all-began-053563

http://www.mediaite.com/online/hillary-clinton-horrified-by-obama-rumors-her-campaign-helped-create/

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/sep/23/donald-trump/hillary-clinton-obama-birther-fact-check/

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2011/apr/27/obama-birth-certificate-timeline/

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/646508464085311488

Trump Does Nothing As Questioner Says Obama Is Muslim

At a town hall in New Hampshire, a man stood up and asked the billionaire businessman this question:

“We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American. We have training camps growing when they want to kill us. My question: When can we get rid of them?”

Trump, who had even interrupted the man to say, “We need this question,” didn’t knock down the premise of his question at the end. Here’s how he responded:

“We are going to be looking at a lot of different things. And a lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We are going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”

When confronted by the media for his blunder Trump doubled-down simply stating that he felt he did a much better job.

Reality

Obama is not a Muslim. End of story.

Compare Trump’s handling of the situation to that of John McCain in 2008 and it is clear his failure to allow conspiracy theories to persist shows a lack of being Presidential.

Links

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/09/18/441458050/trump-does-nothing-as-questioner-alleges-obama-is-muslim

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/09/20/trump_i_handled_obama-is-a-muslim_question_way_better_than_harsh_john_mccain.html

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/aug/26/18-percent-american-public/obama-muslim-no-hes-not-evidence-has-not-changed/