Trump: Calling Obama ISIS founder was 'sarcasm'

For the second time in less than a month, GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE is writing off a statement many found offensive — that President Obama was the “founder” of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — as “sarcasm.”

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“ISIS is honoring President Obama,” Trump said Wednesday during a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  “He’s the founder of ISIS. He founded ISIS."

“I would say the co-founder would be Crooked Hillary Clinton,” Trump added of his Democratic rival and Obama’s former secretary of State. Trump has previously referred to each as ISIS's most valuable player as well.

Trump doubled down on the claim Thursday in an interview with Hugh Hewitt, telling the radio host that "everyone's liking" the comments.

“I know what you meant. You meant that he created the vacuum. He lost the peace,” Hewitt said.

“No, I meant that he’s the founder of ISIS,” Trump replied. “He was the most valuable player. I gave him the most valuable player award."

But on Friday, Trump tweeted that he was being facetious:

In July, Trump came under fire for saying he hopes Russian hackers find Clinton's 30,000 missing emails from her private server, statements he later dismissed as "sarcastic."