SUNRISE, Fla. — Donald Trump repeatedly accused President Barack Obama of founding ISIS at a rally Wednesday.
At a raucous campaign rally outside Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Trump said that ISIS “honors” Obama — who the GOP nominee referred to as “Barack Hussein Obama.”
After lamenting the “mistake” the US made by going to war in Iraq, Trump then criticized Obama’s attempts to “clean up.”
“Normally you want to clean up; he made a bigger mess out of it,” Trump said. “In fact, in many respects, you know they honor president Obama. ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS.”
The White House declined to comment on Trump’s comments.
He then said that the “co-founder” of ISIS was Clinton.
Clinton campaign adviser Jake Sullivan on Thursday accused Trump of “echoing the talks of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.”
“This is another example of Donald Trump trash-talking the United States,” Sullivan said in a statement. “It goes without saying that this is a false claim from a presidential candidate with an aversion to the truth and an unprecedented lack of knowledge.”
In an interview and campaign event in Florida on Thursday, Trump doubled down on his accusation.
“He was the founder of ISIS, absolutely,” Trump said of Obama on CNBC. “The way he removed our troops — you shouldn’t have gone in. I was against the war in Iraq. Totally against it.”
Trump blamed the president for his decision to withdraw troops, which some argue created a power vacuum in which extremist groups like ISIS thrive.
Trump says the U.S. “should have never gotten in” the war, but also shouldn’t “have got out the way he got out.”
The Republican candidate now claims that he was opposed to the Iraq War from the beginning, despite evidence to the contrary.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.