Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump doubled down on comments made at a campaign rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Wednesday, in which he labeled the sitting US president the founder of the Islamic terror group ISIS.
“He was the founder of ISIS, absolutely – the way he removed our troops, you shouldn’t have gotten in,” Trump reiterated in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box Thursday morning.
Trump, asked if calling Pres. Obama the "founder of ISIS" is appropriate: "He is the founder of ISIS, absolutely." pic.twitter.com/VrtkDhvIgz
— CNBC (@CNBC) August 11, 2016
“I was against the war in Iraq. I was totally against it – even though I was a civilian, so nobody cared – but we shouldn’t have been in Iraq. I would not have been in Iraq if I was president, but that mistake was made – one of the worst mistakes in the history of our country.
“We destabilized the Middle East. We’ve been paying the price for it for years.
“But [Obama] was the founder, absolutely the founder.”
Using a sports analogy, Trump added that both Obama and Hillary would probably earn “Most Valuable Player” awards for their roles in helping the rise of ISIS.
“In fact he gets the – in sports they have awards – he gets the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award, him and Hillary – I mean she gets it too. I gave them ‘co-founder’ if you really looked at the speech – I think you probably did.”
“But he and Hillary get the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award having to do with Iraq and having to do with the ISIS situation, or as he would call it ISIL,” Trump said.
'@realDonaldTrump: President Obama is the 'MVP' of ISIS.
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) August 11, 2016
“He calls it ISIL because nobody else does, and probably wants to bother people by using a different term, and whether it’s more accurate or not, most people call it ISIS, he calls it ISIL – he was the founder of ISIS and so was she.
“As bad as it was that they went in – they should’ve never gotten in – he shouldn’t have gotten out the way he got out.”
Trump then asked CNBC if critics were attacking him for labeling the president the founder of a terrorist organization.
“Is there something wrong with saying that? Why? Are people complaining that I said he was the ‘founder of ISIS?’” Trump asked.
“I’m wondering how you think that’s going to play in some battleground states,” the reporter claims.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Whatever it is, it is. Look, all I do is tell the truth. I’m a truth-teller. All I do is tell the truth…”
Watch Trump’s full CNBC interview below: