President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to release “thousands of ISIS fighters to Europe,” Vox journalist Aaron Rupar reports via Twitter.
Trump made the remarks while speaking to reporters gathered outside the White House, responding to a question about Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s accusations that he supports the terrorist organization Al Qaeda.
As Fox News reported, during the Democratic primary debate on Wednesday, Gabbard accused Trump of supporting Al Qaeda, later clarifying her statements and explaining that Trump’s relationship with Saudi Arabia shows that he is a supporter of the radical Islamic terrorist group.
“How can you say Saudi Arabia is a great partner in fighting terrorism when they are fueling and funding terrorist groups in Yemen?” she asked.
Trump dismissed Gabbard’s statement, claiming to have already defeated ISIS. The president then explained that the United States has captured “thousands” of ISIS fighters that he would like to be sent to Europe. If Europe does not voluntarily take the terrorists, Trump threatened, he will release them.
“We have thousands of ISIS fighters that we want Europe to take, and let’s see if they take them. If they don’t take them, we’ll probably have to release them to Europe.”
This is not the first time for President Trump to threaten Europe. In February, as Politico reported, the president took to Twitter to threaten America’s European allies.
“The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them,” he said.
The threats caused widespread outrage and confusion in Europe, with some officials criticizing the president’s impulsive and unpredictable style of leadership.
Trump pressured Europe again in July, urging Europeans to follow Italy’s suit, and help relocate ISIS fighters, according to The Atlantic.
On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump vowed to eradicate ISIS and fight radical Islamic terrorism, but he has also undertaken actions targeting Muslims as people.
As Common Dreams reported, Trump imposed a near-total ban on immigration to the United States from Muslim majority countries, prompting condemnation from activists and human rights groups across the world.
However, as Congresswoman Gabbard pointed out, the president has backed the Saudi-led genocide in Yemen. Despite widespread and bipartisan pressure, the president has continued to supply the Saudis with weapons, vetoing resolutions meant to block the sale of American weapons to the despotic regime associated with radical Islam, according to BBC.
I wonder why Donald Trump vetoed our historic legislation to end U.S. involvement in the brutal bombing of Yemen. Who benefits from that?— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 29, 2019
Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics: the four corporations making 90 percent of the weapons that we sell to Saudi Arabia. https://t.co/edxwSYnwO0
As France 24 reported, congressional Democrats have also accused Trump of transferring U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.