Hillary Clinton isn’t backing down from her claim that ISIS shows people videos of Donald Trump “in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”
When asked if Clinton would apologise to Trump for her comments at the Democratic debate on Saturday night, her press secretary was succinct: “Hell no.”
“Hillary Clinton will not be apologizing to Donald Trump for correctly pointing out how his hateful rhetoric only helps ISIS recruit more terrorists,” Brian Fallon, the campaign spokesman, said in a statement.
In Saturday night’s debate, Clinton also dubbed Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, “ISIS’ best recruiter.”
Earlier on Monday, Trump demanded an apology from the former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential frontrunner.
“I will demand an apology from Hillary. She should apologise,” Trump said Monday on the “Today” show. “She lies about emails, she lies about Whitewater, she lies about everything. She will be a disaster as president of the United States.”
Trump added in a tweet that Clinton’s claim was “disgusting.”
Pundits debated the claim all weekend, and several fact-checkers ruled that there’s no evidence to back up Clinton’s claim about the terrorist group. And one ISIS propaganda expert told Business Insider that the group actually talks about President Barack Obama more than Trump.
J.M. Berger, a Brookings Institution fellow and coauthor of the recent book, “ISIS: The State of Terror,” told Business Insider that he isn’t aware of any ISIS videos featuring Trump.
“They talk about [Trump] on social media, but not necessarily in a calculated, organised way,” Berger said in an email.
“They talk about Obama more,” he added, “since he’s the one actually acting against [ISIS]. Trump has been a bit of a sideshow until now. That could change now that they see some headline potential following the debates.”
When asked what Clinton was referring to with her claim Saturday night, spokesman Jesse Ferguson initially pointed to comments from Rita Katz, an expert on ISIS propaganda and co-founder of the SITE Intelligence group. Katz told NBC News recently that ISIS follows “everything Donald Trump says” and references his proposed Muslim ban as proof that America hates Muslims.
But it appears that the claim about videos specifically can’t be verified.
Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri went on ABC’s “This Week” to respond to the scepticism over Clinton’s statement. She said Clinton was “not referring to a specific video,” but noted that Trump “is being used in social media by ISIS as propaganda.”
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