|08-13-2016, 01:31 PM||#1|
Location: Washington, D.C.
Trump not being sarcastic about Obama being the founder of ISIS
Given multiple opportunities to allow that his language had been hyperbolic or, yes, metaphoric, Trump refused. On Thursday, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt practically begged him to narrow his definition.
"Last night, you said the President was the founder of ISIS. I know what you meant," Hewitt said. "You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace."
But Trump wouldn't play along.
"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 again: "But he's not sympathetic to them. He hates them. He's trying to kill them."
"I don't care," Trump said. "He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, okay?"
Sensing progress, Hewitt probed a little further, and Trump seemed to be coming around, saying that if Obama "would have done things properly (in managing the withdrawal from Iraq), you wouldn't have had ISIS."
"That's true," Hewitt said.
"Therefore," Trump added, closing the circle, "he was the founder of ISIS."
A day of furious -- if somewhat puzzled -- fact-checking followed. The reviews were unanimous. No, Obama was not the founder of ISIS. That title mostly belongs to Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, who led al Qaeda in Iraq before being killed in an American airstrike. The group rebranded after his death, becoming ISIS, and under the guidance of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has capitalized on a series of missteps by both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations -- along with a civil war in Syria and Iraqi government failures -- to create a new global terror state.
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