During a radio interview, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeated his accusation that US President Barack Obama is responsible for creating the violent extremist group also known as Daesh.
During the Thursday interview, attempts were made to clarify whether the candidate was speaking literally, or making another of his routine asides that he later claims were merely humorous remarks, intended to get a laugh.
"Last night you said that the President was the founder of ISIS," Hugh Hewitt said to Trump, "I know what you meant. You meant that he created the vacuum. He lost the peace."
"No," Trump responded, "I meant that he's the founder of ISIS. He was the most valuable player. I gave him the most valuable player award."
"I mean, with his bad policies, that's why ISIS came about. If he would have done things properly, you wouldn't have had ISIS. Therefore, he was the founder of ISIS," Trump declared. "The way he got out of Iraq, that was the founding of ISIS, okay?"
Trump emphasized that his statement was not intended to be humorous, and added that voters approve of his accusation.
"Everyone's liking it. I think they're liking it," Trump said.
Earlier on Wednesday, during a speech in Florida, Trump said: "You know, in fact, in many respects, [Daesh] is honoring President Obama. He's the founder of ISIS. He founded ISIS."
"I would say the co-founder would be Crooked Hillary Clinton," Trump added.
"We should never have gotten out the way we got out. We unleashed terrible fury all over the Middle East," Trump claimed.