Trump Intensifies Effort to Cast Obama as 'Founder of ISIS'

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"After lamenting the mistake the United States made by going to war in Iraq - a conflict he repeatedly says that he opposed, despite evidence to the contrary - Trump then criticized Obama's attempts to clean up". "He's the founder. He founded ISIS!" he yelled. Trump, 70, said. "Are people complaining that I said he was the founder of ISIS?" "I'm a fair trader", Trump said.

"No, I meant he's the founder of ISIS".

"You meant that he created the vacuum".

Trump had alleged that Clinton and, more recently, Obama were the founders of the terror group. "He was the most valuable player".

"He and Hillary gets the most valuable player award having to do with Iraq and having to do with the ISIS situation", Trump asserted, criticizing Obama for "the way he removed our troops" from Iraq. He later added of Clinton, "Oh boy, is ISIS hoping for her".

Trump has been using the line since at least January and as recently as Wednesday at a campaign rally in Florida. Secretary Clinton, who was a USA senator at the time, voted for the war, while President Obama, who was a state senator at the time, spoke out against it.

Trump's attorney Michael Cohen told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" on Friday that his boss would have to speak for himself on the issue of Obama and ISIS, but decried the media for over-analyzing Trump's words. But while he's the "caliph", or leader, of ISIS, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is the bloodthirsty zealot who's generally regarded as the group's founder.

"No, I meant he's the founder of ISIS", Trump told Hewitt.

Trump elaborated on his statement, saying, "If he would have done things properly, you wouldn't have had ISIS".

Obama did not technically found ISIS, but he referred to them as a "j.v. team" and didn't stop them when they were small and disorganized.

Trump is doing something here that he's done in other contexts: He's echoing what he has heard in conservative circles.

The accusation - and his use of the president's middle name, Hussein - echoed previous instances where he's questioned Obama's religious faith and loyalties to the country.

Clinton took to Twitter to respond, saying it could be "difficult to muster outrage as frequently as Donald Trump should cause it, but his smear against President Obama requires it". But both claims are wrong, as we've explained in detail.

Hillary and Obama helped arm ISIS and throw Syria into disarray and also facilitated in creating the immigrant crisis in Europe right now.

The Islamic State group began as Iraq's local affiliate of al-Qaida, the group that attacked the US on September 11, 2001.

At a rally in MS in January, he said: "They've created ISIS. Cofounder - crooked Hillary Clinton".

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at Lincoln High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 10, 2016.

"Whatever it is, it is", Trump said.

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