Barack Obama, Donald Trump (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque/AP/Chris Carlson/Photo montage by Salon)

Trump tweets Breitbart article to prove President Obama is an ISIS sympathizer

The "secret memo" from the right-wing site, Trump claims, proves "he's right" to insinuate treasonous ties


Sophia Tesfaye
June 16, 2016 12:36AM (UTC)

Even while a majority of Americans say they disapprove of Donald Trump's response to the mass shooting in Orlando over the weekend, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate is doubling down on some of his most ludicrous conspiracy theories -- and ridiculously citing discredited right-wing websites as evidence.

In an attempt to defend his controversial suggestions that President Obama somehow allowed the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history to occur because he is secretly a "Radical Islam" terrorist sympathizer, Trump took to his favorite social media platform to share "proof" from the right-wing website Breitbart.com

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The Breitbart story cites "a newly discovered SECRET classified memo" that purportedly proves Obama's terrorist sympathies. The memo shows, Breitbart claimed, that the Obama administration, specifically Hillary Clinton's State Department, backed ISIS in Syria when it equipped and trained Syrian rebels fighting against President Bashar Assad:

Hillary Clinton received a classified intelligence report stating that the Obama administration was actively supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorist group that became the Islamic State.

The memo made clear that Al Qaeda in Iraq was speaking through Muhammad Al Adnani, who is now the senior spokesman for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Western and Gulf states were supporting the terrorist group to try to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad, who was being propped up by the Russians, Iranians, and Chinese.

But, as ABC News points out, Breitbart's explosive memo is actually "neither secret nor does it demonstrate the administration’s support for ISIS or any other policy":

Indeed, it’s a recently declassified and heavily redacted intelligence field report from August 2012 about the worsening security situation in Iraq, obtained by the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information lawsuit.

Breitbart falsely concludes that because the memo mentions that al Qaeda in Iraq (a precursor to ISIS) is fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Obama administration therefore supports ISIS.

To be sure, the Obama administration has struggled to secure reliable allies not tied to extremists in the conflict zone, suspending a program "train and equip" up to 3,000 rebel soldiers in Syria after training only 150.


Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia TesfayeFOLLOW @SophiaTesfaye

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