President Obama and Hillary Clinton co-founded the Islamic State by orchestrating the 2011 U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, Donald Trump says. But old interviews unearthed by Buzzfeed reveal that Trump ardently supported pulling out of the region beginning in 2007, which would put him squarely in the ISIS founder camp.
"He was the founder of ISIS, absolutely," Trump said of Obama during an interview Thursday with CNBC. "The way he removed our troops — you shouldn't have gone in … The way he got out of Iraq – that was the founding of ISIS, OK?"
Trump spoke similarly of his Democratic opponent during a rally in Daytona Beach, Florida, last week: "Take a look at what's going on, and then worldwide, and we let ISIS take this position … It was Hillary Clinton that ― she should get an award from them as the founder of ISIS."
In 2008, however, British GQ asked Trump what his "quick-fix" would be if he became president. His answer: "First, I'd get out of Iraq right now."
"Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists, it's where they are trained. It's conceivable what Bush has done," he had said earlier in the interview.
A year before that, Trump told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the U.S. should "declare victory and leave" the Middle East.
"You know how they get out? They get out," he said. "That's how they get out. Declare victory and leave, because I'll tell you, this country is just going to get further bogged down. They're in a civil war over there, Wolf. There's nothing that we're going to be able to do with a civil war."
The Clinton campaign responded to Trump on Thursday by accusing him of "trash-talking the United States."
"It goes without saying that this is a false claim from a presidential candidate with an aversion to the truth and an unprecedented lack of knowledge," senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement.