Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts blasted Donald Trump after the Republican nominee appeared to backpedal on his accusation that President Barack Obama was the founder of ISIS.
Moulton, an Iraq War veteran, characterized Trump as a serial liar who is damaging U.S. efforts to destroy ISIS.
On Aug. 10, Trump ignited a new controversy when he seemed to assert that President Obama and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton were literally the founders of ISIS, The New York Times reports.
The next day, the business mogul doubled down on his accusation during an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt. After Hewitt asked if Trump meant that the Obama’s administration’s policies in the Middle East had created a vacuum that gave rise to ISIS, Trump insisted that his statement was literal.
“No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS,” Trump said. “He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”
On Aug. 12, Trump took to Twitter to clarify that he had been joking the whole time.
“Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) ‘the founder’ of ISIS, & MVP,” Trump tweeted out. “THEY DON’T GET SARCASM?”
Moulton was not amused. He told CNN that the GOP nominee’s latest controversy fits into a pattern of behavior.
“Donald Trump has shown that he lies every single day and then the next day he just tries to claim it was sarcasm,” Moulton said. The member of Congress added, “What happens when he presses the nuclear button, and then the next day says, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I was just being sarcastic?’”
Moulton slammed Trump not just for being inconsistent, but added that his rhetoric was actually aiding ISIS.
“But when Trump claims that America is the founder of ISIS, that’s something that ISIS uses against us, that’s something that ISIS uses to recruit fighters, recruit terrorists, to attack American troops,” Moulton continued.
“It makes the work of our troops harder, and it just shows that Trump has absolutely no idea what it takes to fight ISIS, what it takes to be commander-in-chief and he certainly has no clue what it means to put your life on the line for our country,” the Democratic lawmaker concluded.
Moulton has been a vocal critic of Trump’s rhetoric towards Muslims and the U.S. military.
After the GOP nominee suggested the mother of slain U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan had been forbidden to speak during the Democratic National Convention because of her Muslim faith, Moulton demanded that House Speaker Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin withdraw his endorsement for the real estate developer, The Boston Globe reports.
Moulton called for “Republicans across the political spectrum to withdraw their endorsements of this maniac.”