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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 2°C
like literally

I really meant it when I said Obama was the founder of Isis, Trump insists

He’s not apologising – and he’s not explaining very much either.

Campaign 2016 Trump Evan Vucci Evan Vucci

EVEN HIS SUPPORTERS concede that it’s often difficult to ascertain what Donald Trump actually meant to say, whenever his controversial comments make the headlines.

Earlier in the week, his comments about ’2nd amendment people’ potentially taking action against Hillary Clinton sparked debate – with critics of the GOP nominee contending his remarks were an incitement to violence. Paul Ryan, America’s most senior elected Republican, said it had sounded like a “joke gone bad”.

In the last 48 hours or so, Trump’s latest remarks, about Barack Obama ‘founding Isis’ have taken over US and international news cycles.

But given several opportunities to explain what he meant while campaigning yesterday, the businessman failed to do so – appearing to indicate he meant the accusation to be taken literally.

As usual with Trump, he left himself and his surrogates a little room to walk back the charged language at some later stage – but speaking to a conservative radio host in a wide-ranging interview, he declined to take the cue to broaden-out his criticism of Obama’s Middle East policies.

“I know what you meant – you meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace,” host Hugh Hewitt said, according to a transcript of the show.

“No, I meant that he’s the founder of Isis, I do,” Trump said.

“He was the most valuable player – I gave him the most valuable player award. I give her too, by the way,” he added, referring to Clinton.

Giving some extra context, he added:

He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of Isis, okay?

‘No, he didn’t' 

For her part, Clinton admonished Trump for his accusation, tweeting ”No, Barack Obama is not the founder of ISIS”.

Anyone willing to sink so low, so often should never be allowed to serve as our commander-in-chief.

A furious Democratic National Committee also called on the developer to “apologise for his outrageous, unhinged and patently false suggestions”.

The Republican nominee debuted his latest controversial assertion on Wednesday night at a rally in Florida, and repeated it several times yesterday.


And while political pundits on both sides of the Atlantic appear, at this stage, to have given up on wondering whether he’s “gone too far this time”, at least one attendee at that rally (bottom left in the photo above) seemed less-than-convinced of the wisdom of Trump’s tactic…



Elsewhere yesterday, the Republican told CNBC that he would either win this November’s general election with his frank, off-the-cuff style or enjoy a “very, very, nice long vacation”.

In comments that may cause further worries within the GOP establishment he said:

I’m a truth teller. All I do is tell the truth. And if at the end of 90 days, I’ve fallen short because I’m somewhat politically correct even though I’m supposed to be the smart one and even though I’m supposed to have a lot of good ideas, it’s OK. I go back to a very good way of life.

With reporting from AFP

Read: Hillary accuses Trump of “crossing the line”, so Trump accuses Obama of “founding Isis” >

Read: “Give me a break” – Donald Trump defends comments that appeared to hint at Hillary assassination >

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