Donald Trump Pushes Conspiracy Theory That Obama Supports ISIS
Donald Trump said he was right to imply that President Obama is an ISIS sympathizer.
In an attempt to defend his controversial claims that the president supports the terrorist group, the presumptive Republican nominee tweeted a story from anti-Obama website Breitbart.com that cites a newly discovered “secret” memo the website says proves Obama is an ISIS supporter.
The memo, as it turns out, is neither secret nor does it demonstrate the administration’s support for ISIS or any other policy. Indeed, it’s a recently declassified and heavily redacted intelligence field report from August 2012 about the worsening security situation in Iraq, obtained by the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information lawsuit.
Breitbart falsely concludes that because the memo mentions that al Qaeda in Iraq (a precursor to ISIS) is fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Obama administration therefore supports ISIS.
The Obama administration, particularly through its State Department, has spoken at length about the complicated process of vetting the array of opposition groups in order to avoid supporting those with ties to extremism.
An: Media fell all over themselves criticizing what DonaldTrump "may have insinuated about @POTUS." But he's right: https://t.co/bIIdYtvZYw
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2016
White House spokesman Josh Earnest Monday responded to a question about Trump’s claims the same day. “Well, I think what is clear is, if you take a look at the president’s record, it speaks for itself,” Earnest said. “And that record includes a lot of dead terrorists.”
(h/t ABC News)
The Washington Post did an enormous fact-check and came to the conclusion that the Brietbart.com article was a pack of crap. This should come to the surprise of no-one who reads Brietbart.com and can recognize it as dishonest and willfully deceptive. For more information you can read the fact-check here, but in the Washington Post’s expert summary:
“This is what happens when people with little understanding of policy or context choose to willfully misinterpret documents. This is a relatively unimportant memo, with little information not in newspapers at the time. Rather than showing that the Obama administration is supporting terrorist groups, the information in the memo demonstrates why the administration was so reluctant to back rebel groups in Syria, often to the annoyance of Republican hawks.
Moreover, the memo was not sent directly to Clinton’s office, as asserted by Breitbart.
Trump, as a presumptive presidential nominee, really needs to rely on more accurate information when making factual claims.”
This all stems from Donald Trump’s debunked rekindling of the old conservative trope that President Barack Obama is a secret Muslim hellbent on overthrowing the government. Donald Trump said:
Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump said on Fox News. “And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.