Trump initially said this Wednesday night at a campaign rally in Florida, but he doubled down Thursday morning in a series of phone interviews. "In many respects, you know, they honor President Obama," Trump said at his rally in Florida Wednesday night. "He's the founder of ISIS. He's the founder of ISIS. He's the founder. He founded ISIS."
He also noted: "I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton."
"If they gave a trophy for most valuable player, the winner of the trophy for ISIS would probably have to be Hillary Clinton," he said:
DONALD TRUMP: He was the founder of ISIS, absolutely. The the way he removed our troops -- We shouldn't have gone in I was against the war in Iraq... We shouldn't have been in Iraq. I would not have been in Iraq if I was president, but that mistake was made, it was one of the worst mistakes in the history of our country, we destabilized the middle east. We've been paying the price for it for years.
But [Obama] was the founder, absolutely the founder. In fact, he gets the Most Valuable Player award. Him and Hillary! She gets it too.
She is the co-founder if you really looked at my speech...
Hillary gets the Most Valuable Player award having to do with Iraq, and having to do with the ISIS situation. Or as she would call it, ISIL. [Obama] calls it ISIL, nobody else does. He probably wants to bother people by using a different term...
He was the founder of ISIS and so was she. I call them cofounders... Because of the wat he got out [of Iraq]... He shouldn't have gotten out the way he got out. It was a disaster what he did.
Is there something wrong with saying that? Are people complaining that I said he was the founder of ISIS?
All I do is tell the truth, I am a truth teller.
As part of the wide-ranging phone interview, Trump said that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are the "co-founders" of ISIS.
"[Obama] was the founder of ISIS absolutely, the way he removed our troops. ... I call them co-founders," he said.
Watch Trump's full interview with CNBC:
Trump also elaborates on these comments in this Thursday morning interview with Hugh Hewitt:
In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Thursday morning Trump clarified, saying: "I give [Obama] the most valuable player award [on the ISIS team]. And I give it to him... I gave the co-founder to Hillary."
"I mean, with his bad policies, that’s why ISIS came about," Trump said, "If he would have done things properly, you wouldn’t have had ISIS... Therefore, he was the founder of ISIS."
Read more at RCP.