During a Monday appearance on Fox & Friends, Trump suggested that Obama could have stopped the massacre in Orlando but didn’t because he is in league with the terrorists.
Obama is either “not smart” or “has something else in mind,” Trump said. “The something else in mind, people can’t believe it. There is something going on. It’s incredible.”
Asked to clarify is statement later in the day, Trump demurred, telling radio host Howie Carr that he’ll “let people figure that out for themselves.”
This morning, Trump stopped being coy and flatly stated that Obama is a supporter of ISIS.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2016
The piece links to an article published today on Breitbart, which effectively operates as an arm of the Trump campaign, stating that “the Obama administration was actively supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorist group that became the Islamic State.” It cites a 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency memo released by the right-wing group Judicial Watch in May 2015.
The publication of Breitbart’s article is unusual since its interpretation of the memo was widely debunked at the time.
Middle East scholar Juan Cole derided the idea that the memo proves that the U.S. was supporting ISIS as “an unfounded conspiracy theory.” Rather, it was a “correct assessment of where things were going in Syria.” The memo states that “those powers (e.g. Turkey and the Gulf monarchies) supporting the opposition wanted to see the declaration of a Salafi (hard line Sunni) breakaway statelet, in order to put pressure on the al-Assad regime.”
It does not say the United States supports an Islamic State and “warns that any such development could lead to the break-up of Iraq, an eventuality that the authors clearly felt was undesirable.”
The details of the conspiracy pushed by Trump are less important than the point he is trying to advance as the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. Trump’s tweet, taken in the context of what he’s said since the Orlando massacre, explicitly argues that Obama could have stopping the killing but did not because he is secretly in league with ISIS. The proof he offers for this astounding claim is a year-old widely debunked conspiracy theory.
Even if Breitbart’s “analysis” was accurate — that the Obama administration supported ISIS as part of a strategy to topple Assad — it would not prove the underlying claim that Obama permitted the murder of 49 people in the United States in order to support ISIS.
Trump’s previous controversial statements — including suggesting a federal judge is unqualified to preside because of his “Mexican heritage” — have not eroded his support from the top ranks of the Republican party, including Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Reince Priebus.
In this case, Trump is stating that the President of The United States is complicit in the murdering of 49 people because of a secret alliance with a terrorist group. Does this cross the line? If not, it’s the clearest evidence left that there are no lines left to cross.