After White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reiterated President Donald Trump's remarks that he's working on a plan to bring troops home to their families, Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade pushed back, saying that the president is "giving Russia a big win" if he pulls U.S. troops out of Syria.
President Trump is "doing exactly what he criticized President Obama for doing," Kilmeade said.
“He said President Obama is the founder of ISIS,” Kilmeade said. “[Trump] just refounded ISIS, because they’ve got 30,000 men there, and they’re already striking back with our would-be evacuation. The president is really on the griddle with this.”
People were rather surprised by Kilmeade's reaction. (Fox and Friends has long been the president's favorite program; he often tweets based on things that he's heard from Kilmeade and the other co-hosts.)
Trump referred to his predecessor, Barack Obama, as "the founder of ISIS" in 2016.
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt then asked Trump about those comments, saying he believed Trump meant "that he [Obama] created the vacuum, he lost the peace."
"No, I meant he's the founder of ISIS," Trump objected. "I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton."
Hewitt disagreed, saying that Obama "is not sympathetic" to ISIS.
"I don't care," Trump said. "He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, okay?"
Trump continued to double down from there.
"Do you not like that?" Trump asked Hewitt.
"I think I would say they created, they lost the peace. They created the Libyan vacuum, they created the vacuum into which ISIS came, but they didn't create ISIS. That's what I would say," Hewitt said.
"Well, I disagree," Trump said, and the matter was closed.
The incident prompted Hillary Clinton to rebuke then-candidate Trump, stressing that he would be unfit to serve as the nation's chief executive.
Top Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio (FL) derided the decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria as "a colossal mistake."