Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Briar Woods High School, Aug. 2, 2016, in Ashburn, Va.
Photo by Molly Riley/AFP/Getty

On ISIS, Donald Trump stumbles over ‘sarcasm’

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, still looking for a solution to boost his struggling campaign, is scheduled to deliver a speech in Ohio today on foreign policy and national security. By all accounts, much of the remarks will be focused on the GOP candidate’s views on combating ISIS.
If we’re lucky, Trump might take a moment or two to clean up the ISIS-related mess he created last week.
To briefly recap, the Republican nominee told a Florida audience mid-week that he believes President Obama is the “founder” of ISIS. A day later, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt offered Trump an opportunity to walk that back, suggesting the candidate meant Obama’s foreign policy created conditions that helped ISIS expand its reach, but Trump swatted that away.
“No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS,” Trump said, reality be damned.
When this sparked a controversy, the GOP presidential hopeful insisted news organizations misunderstood his “sarcasm.” Late Friday, however, as the Washington Post reported, Trump reversed his reversal.
“So I said ‘the founder of ISIS,’ obviously I’m being sarcastic,” Trump said at the afternoon rally in Erie, using an acronym for the Islamic State. He added: “But not that sarcastic, to be honest with you.”
Around the same time, Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson appeared on MSNBC and said that while the candidate does not believe that President Obama “personally went to the Middle East and filled out the paperwork that incorporated ISIS,” Trump “was being very serious” when he accused the president of being ISIS’s “founder.”
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), an ostensible ally to his party’s presidential nominee, conceded late last week that Trump’s ISIS rhetoric “went far too far.” Corker added, “This has been a very unusual election.”
It has, indeed, senator.