Good luck in collecting, but Hillary Clinton certainly owes Donald Trump an apology. In case you missed it, Hillary started off a debate answer with legitimate criticism of Trump, but then decided to spice it up with a massive lie, and in the process essentially blame Trump for a crisis largely of her own making:
Remind us again how ISIS came to be? The Obama administration pulled out of Iraq and then blew up Libya during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, with Hillary’s enthusiastic participation in the latter policy at least. Obama and Hillary took their eyes off of the metastasizing threat in Iraq and Syria from al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which changed its name to ISIS when it began holding territory. This is nothing more than Hillary Clinton trying to distract from her own failed actions and policies by blaming someone else’s rhetoric. It reminds one of Hillary’s claim that Benghazi was caused by a little-known YouTube video.
Even Politifact rated her claim false:
At PolitiFact, the burden of proof is on the person making the claim. We’ll update our fact-check in the event solid evidence emerges. But for now, that evidence does not exist.
Clinton said that ISIS is “going to people showing Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”
We were unable to find any evidence to support this. The Clinton campaign did not provide any evidence that this is already happening — only that it could be happening, or that it may in the future. If ISIS was using Trump for recruitment videos, we would expect a frenzy of media coverage over it. We rate this claim False.
There are plenty of legitimate criticisms that could be leveled at Trump, and demagoguery is certainly one of them. Coming from Hillary Clinton, however, complaints about demagoguery are breathtakingly hypocritical, especially in this instance. Flat-out lies served up on a steaming plate in order to bolster one’s claims — especially in the context of Iraq, Syria, and Libya — put Hillary’s demagoguery on a level all her own.
Naturally, Trump demands an apology that will never come:
“I will demand an apology from Hillary. She should apologize,” he told TODAY’s Matt Lauer on Monday. “She lies about emails, she lies about Whitewater, she lies about everything. She will be a disaster about everything as president of the United States.”
Over the weekend, Trump fired back at his Democratic rival for claiming that Trump was “becoming ISIS’s best recruiter,” saying Islamic extremists were using Trump’s comments about Muslims and Islam as a recruiting tool.
“They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists,” Clinton said.
Owed or not, Trump’s making a mistake here, and one that undermines his own brand. Demands for apologies sound weak; Jeb Bush demanded one from Trump during a debate on behalf of his wife, and was left twisting in the wind when Trump refused to comply. Demands for apologies transfer power from the aggrieved to the aggrievor, so to speak, and usually leaves the latter with plenty of options for more attacks — just as it did with Trump when Bush demanded it. Besides, Trump’s brand depends on strength, not victimization, while Hillary’s gender-card campaign thrives on the latter. Good luck winning that battle, and if that’s the Trump strategy to win a general election, perhaps voters should take note.
On another note, can we please dispense with the claims that normal political debate somehow helps ISIS recruitment? The one factor that actually does help ISIS recruit is radical Islam, which is the one ingredient these verbal kneecappers never state. Trump’s professed policies would likely be detrimental in many ways, but ISIS didn’t need Trump to aggregate tens of thousands of radical jihadis. That happened on Obama’s watch and in part on Hillary’s, long before Trump said anything about Muslims. Political debate is too important to silence through despicable insinuations about sympathy for the enemy. Enough.