During an Oval Office press briefing on Friday, President Donald Trump threatened to release captured ISIS fighters into Europe, Mediaite reports.
Apparently frustrated by America’s European allies, the president told the press that the United States is asking countries from which the fighters allegedly came to take them back, which they have refused to do. Because of that, the United States might simply release the fighters into Europe, according to Trump.
According to the president, “If they don’t take them back we’re going to probably put them at the border and then they’ll have to capture them again.”
Trump’s unorthodox suggestion baffled Fox News pundit Guy Benson, who said that hearing the president make the remarks made him feel like he is on hallucinogenic drugs.
“You looked befuddled, what’s happening?” anchor Harris Faulkner asked Benson.
“I’m still trying to unpack his answer about ISIS,” he replied, arguing that there is nothing wrong with Trump wanting Europe’s help, but noted that simply releasing them into Europe would be “insane.”
“He’s saying we don’t want to take on the expense of housing these captured fighters, thousands of them, these terrorists, indefinitely. So he wants Europe’s help. Fine,” the pundit said.
“But he said earlier today that if they don’t give that help then he’s going to release ISIS fighters at the border somewhere and let them go. Am I taking hallucinogenic drugs or is that insane?!”
Faulkner and Fox Business host Elizabeth MacDonald quickly jumped to the president’s defense.
Faulkner told his colleague that Trump would likely “recapture” the ISIS fighters in case no European country takes them in, and MacDonald suggested that the president is making an empty threat.
This is not the first time for Trump to threaten Europe with captured ISIS fighters. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the president made the same threat on numerous occasions.
In February, he asked Germany, France, Britain, and other European countries to take back 800 ISIS fighters from Syria, which prompted confusion and outrage among European leaders shocked by the suggestion.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 20, 2019
In July, Trump attempted to pressure Europe again in a similar manner, and in August he said that the United States would be willing to release “thousands” of captured ISIS fighters into Europe.
As The Washington Examiner reported, during a speech at the national convention of American Veterans (AMVETS) in August, Trump pushed back against criticism, suggesting that the United States is spending too much money on holding the prisoners, and once again urging European countries to take the fighters.