Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday night accused US President Barack Obama of being the “founder” of extremist terrorist organization Islamic State, even as he claimed his first secretary of state Hillary Clinton was the ‘co-founder’ of the group.
‘In many respects, you know, they honor President Obama. ISIS is honoring President Obama,’ Trump insisted at a campaign stop in Florida, after working himself into a lather at the end of a full day of campaigning in two states.
‘He is the founder of ISIS. He is the founder of ISIS, okay? He’s the founder! He founded ISIS!’ he continued, always crescendoing.
‘And I would say,’ Trump added more solemnly, getting to his election-year point: ‘The co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton. Co-founder! Crooked Hillary Clinton! And that’s what it’s about!’ Daily Mail said.
Aware of the anticipatory backlash he will receive from media, the Republican presidential nominee went on to clarify that Obama and Clinton had created the power vacuum that allowed the militant Islamic extremist group to flourish by withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.
“Instead of allowing some small forces behind to maybe, just maybe, keep it under control, we pulled it out,” he argued. “Then Obama came in, and normally you want to clean up and he made a bigger mess.”
Trump’s statement on Wednesday marked the first time he has credited the current White House with the creation of the self-described ‘Islamic State.’
The Republican presidential nominee describing Obama as the founder of ISIS, though presumably meant metaphorically, fits a pattern of conspiratorial insinuations and racial dog-whistles that he has long used to malign Obama.