Trump tweets story claiming ‘secret memo’ shows Obama supports ISIS
Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted a link to an article that claims President Obama has indirectly supported the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), standing behind his remarks earlier this week that Obama might sympathize with terrorists.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2016
The story, from the conservative Breitbart website, says the State Department received a memo from an intelligence agent who claimed al Qaeda in Iraq, a group that splintered off to form ISIS, was one of the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.”
Based on the memo, the article claims that the Obama administration backed ISIS by setting up a program to train Syrian rebels fighting against President Bashar Assad.
The Syrian opposition comprises dozens of different factions, and the Obama administration has struggled at times to find reliable allies not tied to extremists. The Pentagon had focused on vetting the rebels who took part in its “train and equip” program, but it stalled after the Pentagon was only able to train 150 rebels, far short of its goal of 3,000.
The document was obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that sued to obtain emails that Hillary Clinton sent and received from a private server when she was secretary of State.
Democrats and Republicans alike have hammered Trump for comments that appeared to question Obama’s commitment to the anti-terror fight. Speaking Monday morning on Fox News about this weekend’s massacre in Orlando, Trump said Obama either didn’t understand the radical Islamic terror threat or that there’s “something going on” that is “inconceivable.”
Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, bashed those comments Tuesday in a speech in which she argued Trump had “suggested that President Obama is on the side of the terrorists.”
“Even in a time of divided politics, this is way beyond anything that should be said by someone running for president of the United States,” she said.
Trump has bristled at those accusations, revoking the press credentials of The Washington Post after it published the headline “Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting.”