Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has appeared to have backtracked on his allegation that President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton founded the Islamic State group.
Trump insists he was just being sarcastic and accused media of misconstruing what he said.
This time he blamed US broadcaster CNN.
“Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) “the founder” of ISIS, & MVP. THEY DON’T GET SARCASM?,” Trump wrote in a tweet.
Trump later attacked the media, and then said that IS gained in strength while Clinton was secretary of state.
Trump first made the accusation Wednesday at a rally in Florida, and repeated it in interviews the following day.
He appeared to be mimicking the argument that the US troop’s withdrawal from Iraq under Obama with Clinton serving as secretary of state created a vacuum that allowed the Islamic State group to emerge and flourish in Iraq and Syria.
He also said he considered Clinton his Democratic rival for the presidency to be the co-founder of the Islamic State group.
The Clinton team responded Thursday by calling the assertion outlandish.
“Anyone willing to sink so low, so often should never be allowed to serve as our commander-in-chief,” Clinton wrote in a tweet.