He’s done it again. A couple weeks ago, it seemed that Donald Trump’s gaffes would be difficult to top. First the Republican nominee encouraged the Russians to steal Hillary Clinton’s missing emails—a criminal act of espionage. Then he repeatedly attacked a Muslim Gold Star immigrant family whose Army officer son was killed in Iraq.
Yet Trump’s managed to top even those virtuoso own-goals. His sly encouragement of Second Amendment enthusiasts who might want to assassinate the Democratic nominee caused outrage and encouraged mounting defections from the GOP over Trump’s lack of self-control. It’s never a good day in politics when the Secret Service must have a word with a candidate about assassinating his rival.
Now he’s blown past even that low point by stating that President Obama is the founder of the Islamic State, the notorious ISIS. Wednesday night at a spirited Florida rally, Trump said, “In many respects, you know, they honor President Obama… He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS… I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.”
Although this wasn’t the first time Trump has pointed a finger at Obama and Clinton as having created ISIS, the emphasis he placed on saying “founder” repeatedly caught the attention of the commentariat. Even some Trump supporters were more than a little taken aback by the GOP nominee’s gleeful tarring of the president as an alleged jihadist.
Thursday morning Hugh Hewitt, a well-known Republican commentator who’s backed the GOP nominee, interviewed Trump and gave him a golden opportunity to repudiate his incendiary words. Trump did nothing of the sort, instead doubling down on his accusation. The exchange was so shocking it’s worth quoting at length:
Read the rest at The Observer…