The fact checkers are wasting no time in blowing Donald Trump’s bogus claim that President Obama founded ISIS to bits.
Trump has repeated his claim that Obama founded ISIS no less than five times in less than two days.
PolitiFact destroyed Trump’s lie with a dose of straight up reality:
Let us be clear: It is wildly inaccurate to say Obama or Clinton “co-founded” ISIS.
For starters, the terrorist group’s roots pre-date Obama’s presidency and Clinton’s role as secretary of state.
Trump said Obama “founded ISIS. I would say the cofounder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.”
There’s a credible critique that Obama’s and Clinton’s foreign-policy and military decisions helped create a space in which ISIS could operate and expand. But Trump explicitly rejected this formulation, saying he literally means Obama is “the founder of ISIS” and Clinton is the “cofounder.”
In reality, the founder of ISIS was a terrorist. It is run by terrorists. Obama has said destroying ISIS is his “top priority.”
All this makes Trump’s statement a ridiculous characterization. He’s doubled, tripled and quadrupled down on it in various venues and has reinforced that he meant his words to be taken literally.
PolitiFact wasn’t alone in debunking Trump.
This was the visual used by CNN on screen as they discussed Trump’s false claim:
The condemnation of Trump’s flat out lie about Obama and Clinton founding ISIS has been widespread outside of conservative media circles. President Obama did not found ISIS. After George W. Bush destabilized Iraq in 2003, ISIS was created by a terrorist as an offshoot of al-Qaeda. ISIS was around for nearly six years before Obama took office.
The American people thought it was outrageous when Mitt Romney lied about Jeep relocating a plant during the 2012 election, but Donald Trump is Romney on steroids.
Trump is not getting away with lying like he did during the Republican primary. The lies are becoming more outrageous as Trump falls further behind in the polls.
What worked in the primary isn’t working in the general, because Donald Trump’s lies are being debunked.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association