US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is going back and forth on his statement that President Barack Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton “founded” the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in the Middle East. Daesh terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, control parts of Iraq and Syria. They have been engaged in crimes against humanity in areas under their control. On Wednesday, Trump said Obama is the founder of Daesh. “I would say the co-founder would be ‘Crooked’ Hillary Clinton,” he added.
On Thursday, Trump accused the Obama administration of not providing security to Americans from Daesh terrorists. “Our government isn’t giving us good protection. Our government has unleashed ISIS,” he said, using an alternative acronym for the terrorist group.
“I call President Obama and Hillary Clinton the founders of ISIS. They’re the founders. In fact, I think we’ll give Hillary Clinton the — you know, if you’re on a sports team, most valuable player, MVP, you get the MVP award — ISIS will hand her the most valuable player award. Her only competition is Barack Obama,” he added.
On Friday, Trump retracted his claim that Obama created the Takfiri group, tweeting that he was only being sarcastic. “Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) ‘the founder’ of ISIS, & MVP,” the former reality TV star tweeted. “THEY DON’T GET SARCASM?”
On Friday afternoon speaking at a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, Trump put his foot on the gas pedal again, saying his initial remark wasn’t “that sarcastic, to be honest with you.” “So I said the founder of ISIS,” Trump recalled, after accusing Obama of being so weak that he allowed the terrorist group to establish a foothold in the Middle East. “Obviously I’m being sarcastic. Then — but not that sarcastic, to be honest with you,” he reiterated. A day before this statement, Trump said Obama refers to the Daesh terrorist group as “ISIL” to annoy everyone.
“And he calls it ISIL. And the reason he calls it ISIL is he likes to bother everybody,” Trump told a Miami NBC affiliate on Thursday. “He’s like the only one who is still calling it ISIL.” The Takfiri group calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is at times described as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, by the Western media.
But in the Islamic world, particularly in the Middle East region, the group is known by its Arabic language acronym Daesh. President Obama and some other top officials of his administration like to refer to the terrorist group as ISIL, not as ISIS, as most Republicans, such as Trump, do.