After the Orlando attacks, Donald Trump insinuated that President Obama was involved in the worst mass shooting in American history. Trump doubled down on this conspiracy theory on Wednesday, siting an article on the conservative opinion site Breitbart.
“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,” Trump said on Facebook, linking the same Breitbart article.
Trump did not bother to read the memo apparently, as neither the headline nor Trump’s bold accusations are supported by the linked memo. The article tries to link the Obama administration to support of Muhammad Al Adnani years ago against the oppressive regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad. Al Adnani is the senior spokesman for the Islamic State. However, the memo doesn’t indicate support, only informs the reader that he Islamic State is actively fighting against the al Assad regime in Syria.
Al Nusra, the Al Qaeda alias mention in the memo, was declared to be a terrorist organization by the Obama administration in December of 2011. This memo was released in August of 2012.
Furthermore, the memo explicitly states that “The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.” The Obama administration has been criticized for not doing enough to fight both ISIS and the Al Assad regime. The click bait headline is pretty disgusting, though Breitbart likely got plenty of clicks despite having little evidence in the body of the article.
Trump’s reliance on poor journalism from biased news sources to inform him on foreign affairs is troubling. Gleefully disseminating conspiracy theories and poorly written click bait to millions of supporters is irresponsible and reckless, and seems to be one of Trump’s favorite things to do this week.