Speaking in Daytona Beach, Florida, the Republican party’s nominee for president of the United States worked himself up to the accusation first by pandering about how as president he’d get involved in the space program.
“Look what’s happened with our whole history of space and its leadership,” Trump said. “Look what’s going on folks, we’re like a third-world nation.”
From there, he pivoted to crime. “You see what’s happening with the police,” he said. And look at Orlando, he said, referring to the terroristic mass shooting that happened there in June. Look at San Bernardino. Look at the World Trade Center.
“Take a look at what’s going on, and then worldwide, and we let ISIS take this position,” he said, referring to the terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “It was Hillary Clinton that ― she should get an award from them as the founder of ISIS.”
The crowd applauded and started chanting, “Lock her up, lock her up.”
“That’s what it was,” Trump continued, “her weakness. Her weak policies.”
Trump did not elaborate on how Hillary Clinton founded ISIS, but did go on to criticize her for U.S. foreign policy and world events during her time as secretary of state ― the implication being that Clinton deserves blame for the rise of the terrorist group.
The Washington Post noted that “founder of ISIS” is actually an improvement over “the devil,” so maybe Trump really is toning down his rhetoric as he pivots toward the broader electorate of the general election.
As CNN reported when Trump blamed ISIS on Clinton in January, the group came into being after Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State ended in 2013. Its founder first got to work cutting people’s heads off in Iraq all the way back in 2004, shortly after the U.S.-led invasion launched by the George W. Bush administration.