Radio host Hugh Hewitt sparred with Donald Trump on his radio program Thursday morning, pressing the Republican presidential nominee on his claim that President Barack Obama “was the founder” of ISIS.
“Last night you said the president was the founder of ISIS,” Hewitt said. “I know what you meant. You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace.”
“No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS,” Trump replied. “I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”
Hewitt pressed Trump, explaining that Obama has not been “sympathetic” to the terrorist organisation, “hates them,” and is “trying to kill them.”
“I don’t care,” Trump said in return. “He was the founder. His — the way he got out of Iraq was that — that was the founding of ISIS, OK?”
The New York businessman added again that he would characterise Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, as the “co-founder.” He had previously referred to her as the sole “founder” of the group.
“[L]et me ask you, do you like that?” Trump asked Hewitt.
Hewitt, not amused, replied: “I don’t.”
“I think I would say they created, they lost the peace. They created the Libyan vacuum, they created the vacuum into which ISIS came, but they didn’t create ISIS,” the radio host explained. “That’s what I would say.”
“Well, I disagree,” Trump said.
The Republican presidential nominee, mirroring Hewitt’s argument, contended Obama’s policies allowed ISIS to form.
“Therefore, he was the founder of ISIS,” Trump concluded.
An exasperated Hewitt responded by saying he’d “just use different language to communicate” the message.
The transcript was circuited by Clinton allies online. Jesse Lehrich, Clinton’s foreign-policy spokesperson, called the exchange “remarkable.”
Listen to the exchange:
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