Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill said Sunday it makes much more sense to call Republican nominee Donald Trump the founder of Islamic State than President Barack Obama.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” McCaskill pushed back against Trump’s claim that Obama founded ISIS by saying instead that Trump has a much closer connection to ISIS; he supports Russian President Vladimir Putin, who in turn backs the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Politico reports.
McCaskill noted Assad has bought oil from ISIS, effectively keeping it in the game.
“So you can say Trump and his friend Putin are the founder of ISIS, which probably would be more accurate than calling out the commander in chief in that way,” McCaskill said. “The language that Donald Trump has used as it relates to ISIS is disrespectful to the military that is out there fighting ISIS every day.”
Trump created an outrage when he said Obama founded ISIS, but later clarified Friday he was being sarcastic, although “not that sarcastic, to be honest with you.” The day before, Thursday, radio host Hugh Hewitt attempted to interpret Trump’s comments to mean that ISIS arose as the result of Obama’s policies, but Trump wasn’t having any of it.
On Sunday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, defended the presidential candidate. Pence said Trump was being very serious in his comments, but that they should be interpreted in a roundabout way, namely that Obama and Clinton’s policies led to a vacuum of power in Syria which allowed ISIS to surge forward.
“I think he was being very serious,” Pence said, according to CNN. “He was making a point that needs to be made, that there is no question that the failed policies of President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in the wider Middle East, created a vacuum within Iraq in which ISIS was able to arise.”
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