Don­ald Trump ac­cuses Obama of be­ing ‘founder of ISIL’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

DON­ALD Trump accused Pres­i­dent Barack Obama on Wed­nes­day of found­ing the Is­lamic State of Iraq and the Le­vant group (ISIL, also known as ISIS) that is wreak­ing havoc from the Mid­dle East to Euro­pean cities.

A mo­ment later, on an­other topic, he em­pha­sised the pres­i­dent’s full le­gal name: Barack Hus­sein Obama.

“In many re­spects, you know, they hon­our Pres­i­dent Obama,” Trump said dur­ing a rau­cous cam­paign rally out­side Fort Laud­erdale, Florida. “He is the founder of ISIS.” He re­peated the al­le­ga­tion three times. “He’s the founder of ISIS, okay?” he added. “He’s the founder. He founded ISIS.”

Trump has long blamed Obama and his for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton for pur­su­ing Mid­dle East poli­cies that cre­ated a power vac­uum in Iraq that was ex­ploited by ISIL.

He has sharply crit­i­cised Obama for an­nounc­ing that he would pull US troops out of Iraq, a de­ci­sion that many Obama crit­ics say cre­ated the kind of in­sta­bil­ity in which groups such as ISIL thrive.

The White House de­clined to com­ment on Trump’s ac­cu­sa­tion.

The for­mer prop­erty mogul and real­ity TV star went on to crit­i­cise Clin­ton, his Demo­cratic party ri­val for the pres­i­dency.

“And I would say, the co-founder would be crooked Hil­lary Clin­ton,” he said.

The Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee has in the past accused Clin­ton of “found­ing” the group.

ISIL be­gan as Iraq’s lo­cal af­fil­i­ate of al-Qaeda and has car­ried out mas­sive at­tacks against Iraq’s Shia Mus­lim ma­jor­ity, fu­elling ten­sions with al-Qaeda’s cen­tral lead­er­ship.

The lo­cal group’s then-leader, Jor­da­nian-born Abu Musab al-Zar­qawi, was killed in 2006 in a US air strike but is still seen as its founder.

Trump’s ac­cu­sa­tion — and his pointed use of the pres­i­dent’s mid­dle name, Hus­sein — echoed pre­vi­ous in­stances where he has ques­tioned Obama’s loy­al­ties.

In June, when a gun­man who claimed al­le­giance to ISIL killed 49 peo­ple in a Florida night­club, Trump seemed to sug­gest Obama was sym­pa­thetic to the group when he said Obama “doesn’t get it, or he gets it bet­ter than any­body un­der­stands”.

In the past, Trump has also falsely sug­gested that Obama is a Mus­lim or was born in Kenya, where Obama’s fa­ther was from.

Trump lobbed the al­le­ga­tion half­way through his rally at a sports arena, where riled-up sup­port­ers shouted ob­scen­i­ties about Clin­ton and shouted “lock her up”.

He also railed against the fact that the Or­lando shooter’s fa­ther, Sed­dique Ma­teen, was spot­ted in the crowd be­hind Clin­ton dur­ing a Mon­day rally in Florida, say­ing: “Of course he likes Hil­lary Clin­ton.”

Trump has been crit­i­cised over the past week for com­ments he made sug­gest­ing gun rights ad­vo­cates could stop Clin­ton from be­com­ing pres­i­dent and pick­ing new, anti-gun Supreme Court judges, by us­ing their sec­ond amend­ment rights, which al­low them to bear arms.

“Hil­lary wants to es­sen­tially abol­ish the Sec­ond Amend­ment,” Trump told a rally in North Carolina.

“If she gets to pick her judges, noth­ing you can do folks,” Trump said. “Although the Sec­ond Amend­ment peo­ple — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Trump’s cam­paign spokesman later de­nied al­le­ga­tions that the com­ments were ad­vo­cat­ing for Clin­ton to be as­sas­si­nated.

Mean­while, Trump and his cam­paign are ex­press­ing ideas sim­i­lar to those es­poused by white su­prem­a­cists, le­gal, me­dia and civil rights ex­perts say. In ad­di­tion, the ex­perts said on Wed­nes­day, white su­prem­a­cists are us­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tions to at­tempt to con­trol the cul­ture of pol­i­tics.

“Many white su­prem­a­cists see this as their last stand for con­trol­ling the coun­try,” Heidi Beirich, head of the In­tel­li­gence Pro­ject at the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­tre, said on a con­fer­ence call with re­porters.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Trump’s cam­paign and the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee did not re­turn calls seek­ing com­ment.

Beirich said Trump has flirted with these groups and their ideals through some of his cam­paign state­ments and plat­forms, in­clud­ing build­ing a wall be­tween the US-Mex­ico border; a pro­posed ban on Mus­lims en­ter­ing the coun­try; plan­ning to join Marco Ru­bio at what they con­sider an anti-LGBT event in Or­lando on the two-month an­niver­sary of the Pulse mas­sacre; and the fail­ure to im­me­di­ately de­nounce the en­dorse­ment of David Duke, for­mer Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

An­gelo Caru­sone, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of Me­dia Mat­ters for Amer­ica, a lib­eral ad­vo­cacy group, noted that Trump has retweeted posts from white su­prem­a­cist ac­counts on Twit­ter.

Twit­ter is Trump’s big­gest mi­cro­phone, and his rhetoric cor­re­lates with some of the be­liefs of white supremacy or­gan­i­sa­tions and com­mu­ni­ties, Caru­sone said.

So­phie Bjork-James, a Van­der­bilt Univer­sity lec­turer and ex­pert in white su­prem­a­cist so­cial move­ments, said white na­tion­al­ists are at­tempt­ing to in­crease their num­bers through Trump’s cam­paign.

“They are or­gan­is­ing on­line to re­brand to re­spectable pol­i­tics,” she said. “In­stead of be­ing racist, they try to be re­spectable, but they are also us­ing con­spir­acy the­o­ries to con­trol the me­dia through their so­cial me­dia han­dles for white na­tion­al­ist ideas.”— Al Jazeera —

Trump has taken flak over al­le­ga­tions he called for the as­sas­si­na­tion of Hil­lary Clin­ton EPA

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