While many news outlets pounced on Donald Trump’s sarcastic or non-sarcastic claim that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were the “founders” of ISIS, they remained relatively silent when candidate Clinton accused Donald Trump of becoming the Islamic State’s “best recruiter.”
Like him or hate him, what the GOP presidential nominee was trying to say (or riff) in his own flamboyant style was that the Obama administration’s premature withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq created a power vacuum that enabled ISIS to emerge. Many observers across the spectrum have also argued that the U.S. intervention in Libya resulted in that country devolving into an ISIS enclave.
Trump opposed the Iraq War, which Hillary Clinton voted for as a U.S. Senator.
The controversy (or manufactured controversy) du jour prompted another media sensation that consumed a lot of airtime and additional condemnations for the New York real estate mogul and first-time candidate.
Parenthetically, in a January 2014 New Yorker magazine interview, President Obama likened ISIS to a “JV team” in apparently downplaying the threat posed by the international terrorist organization.
During a Democrat presidential primary debate in New Hampshire back in December, Hillary Clinton slammed Donald Trump for allegedly encouraging ISIS.
“He is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”
In an interview with Business Insider after the Brussels terrorist attacks, Hillary Clinton declared, “And I don’t think we should advocate for ideas and plans that will make things worse. I think it was said just this week that the way Donald Trump talks about terrorism and his very insulting language towards Muslims is making him the ‘recruiting sergeant’ for ISIS.”
Minimal media controversy or outrage apparently accompanied Hillary Clinton’s remarks about Trump recruiting for ISIS, even though the liberal-leaning Politifact determined that there was no evidence that ISIS was then using Donald Trump videos as a recruiting tool. “For now, it seems that Clinton has turned speculative left-of-center rhetoric into fact.”
A terrorist group not linked to ISIS subsequently came out with a recruitment/propaganda video that featured both Trump and Clinton.
Donald Trump has proposed a temporary ban on immigration from Muslim countries until thorough vetting procedures are put in place.
Does the media engage in this kind of autistic literalism when examining the comments of anyone but Trump? pic.twitter.com/NX3C3pMKm1— Robert Mariani (@robert_mariani) August 11, 2016
An analysis by The Federalist chided the media for its “hyperliteralism” over fact-checking the Trump ISIS comments. The article also pointed out that politicians on both sides of the aisle routinely make hyperbolic accusations against each other, including Democrat U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren claiming in June that her GOP counterparts decided to sell weapons to ISIS, as well as former GOP presidential candidates Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum also blaming ISIS on Obama and Clinton.
“President Obama said he couldn’t think of a more potent recruiting tool for ISIS than Republican rhetoric in support of prioritizing help for Christians who had been targeted by the group. Last year, Vanity Fair published a piece blaming George W. Bush for ISIS. Heck, so did President Obama. There are many other examples. This type of rhetoric may not be exemplary, but we shouldn’t pretend it’s unique to Trump.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Trump’s ISIS-founding talk is nothing new. “Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama,” Trump asserted in a January campaign rally in Mississippi. During a CBS interview in July, Trump charged that “Hillary Clinton invented ISIS with her stupid policies. She is responsible for ISIS.”
Separately, a new GOP House of Representatives task force report claims that data about the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s response to ISIS was cooked, Roll Call detailed.
“Defense Department officials were pressured to skew their reports on the military campaign against the Islamic State, making it appear more successful than ‘was warranted by facts on the ground,’ and ‘consistently more positive than analysis produced by other elements of the Intelligence Community… The report, issued by a joint task force on the U.S. Central Command, largely backed up the allegations of a ‘whistleblower’ who claimed that analysts at the agency were pressured to “manipulate” their work after management changes in 2014…The Democratic committee found problems at Central Command as well, but it blamed managerial shortcomings rather than political pressure.”
The social justice cohort on Twitter got riled up today over Donald Trump’s call for volunteer election observers, apparently forgetting that the 2008 Barack Obama campaign put a similar program into motion, Gateway Pundit observed.
[Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]