UPDATE (8/12/16) Now Trump is saying he was being sarcastic in his labeling of Obama and Clinton as the “co-founders” of ISIS.
Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) "the founder" of ISIS, & MVP. THEY DON'T GET SARCASM?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2016
I get it now. All that talk of building a wall, deporting 11 million people, saying Merry Christmas and naming conservative Supreme Court justices, all sarcasm.
Read his remarks to Hugh Hewitt below. Hewitt tried to help Trump out, but Trump insisted he meant it. More sarcasm I suppose.
Donald Trump today doubled down on his contention that President Obama founded ISIS. Watch this CNN report.
Talk show host Hugh Hewitt tried to get Trump to make the more nuanced argument that U.S. policies (which Trump largely agreed with at the time) help set conditions favorable for ISIS to develop. Trump disagreed.
HH: I’ve got two more questions. Last night, you said the President was the founder of ISIS. I know what you meant. You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace.
DT: No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. 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.
HH: But he’s not sympathetic to them. He hates them. He’s trying to kill them.
DT: 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?
HH: Well, that, you know, I have a saying, Donald Trump, the pneumonic device I use is Every Liberal Really Seems So, So Sad. E is for Egypt, L is for Libya, S is for Syria, R is for Russia reset. They screwed everything up. You don’t get any argument from me. But by using the term founder, they’re hitting with you on this again. Mistake?
DT: No, it’s no mistake. Everyone’s liking it. I think they’re liking it. I give him the most valuable player award. And I give it to him, and I give it to, I gave the co-founder to Hillary. I don’t know if you heard that.
HH: I did. I did. I played it.
DT: I gave her the co-founder.
HH: I know what you’re arguing…
DT: You’re not, and let me ask you, do you not like that?
HH: 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.
DT: Well, I disagree.
HH: All right, that’s okay.
DT: I mean, with his bad policies, that’s why ISIS came about.
DT: If he would have done things properly, you wouldn’t have had ISIS.
HH: That’s true.
DT: Therefore, he was the founder of ISIS.
In November 2015, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev told Sputnik News:
The strengthening of the Islamic State became possible partially due to irresponsible policies of the United States. Instead of concentrating joint efforts on fighting terrorism, the United States and its allies decided to fight against the lawfully elected president of Syria Bashar Assad.
Trump is going farther and insisting that Obama is the founder of ISIS. While it is obvious that he is being provocative, I suspect that his conspiracy theory minded followers will take him literally. Just another reason Trump is unfit to be president.
While there is a consensus that U.S. policies going back to the Iraq War had a role to play, calling Obama and Clinton the co-founders is silly. Words have no meaning if somehow Trump’s followers go along with his word games. Just saying, as Hewitt does, that Trump means something else, is insulting to the public and potentially dangerous in practice. What if our allies and enemies don’t get the joke? I suspect many of Trump’s Obama/Clinton hating fans don’t get it either.