What Donald Trump Lied About Last Year: Vaccines

Today’s post is about a stance that Donald Trump has repeated many times in the past, but has not mentioned recently. Vaccines are an important issue to me, so I decided on an infrequent throwback edition called What Donald Trump Lied About Last Year. His stance against vaccines plays into an overall distrust of science that could really impact the  US if he is elected President.

Let’s begin by saying that Centers for Disease Control and the overwhelming bulk of scientific evidence say that vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines have saved millions of lives over the years and there is no proven link between vaccines and autism.

Donald Trump believes otherwise. While not completely against vaccines, he seems to think that vaccines are given in “massive doses” that are “meant for a horse.”

“Autism has become an epidemic. Twenty-five years ago, 35 years ago, you look at the statistics, not even close. It has gotten totally out of control,” Trump said at a Republican debate in 2015. “I am totally in favor of vaccines. But I want smaller doses over a longer period of time. Same exact amount, but you take this little beautiful baby, and you pump—I mean, it looks just like it’s meant for a horse, not for a child, and we’ve had so many instances, people that work for me.”

Here are a few tweets from 2014, when he really seemed to become interested in the anti-vaxer movement.

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Donald Trump is not pushing to ban vaccines, but has publicly and repeatedly linked them to autism. He is not a medical doctor and doesn’t seem interested in numerous studies that say otherwise. That doesn’t stop him from giving his opinion on the dose and schedule of childhood vaccines.

This disregard of science and the scientific method shape his policies, and plays into other areas like his denial of climate change. He is basing his opinions on anecdotes and conspiracy theories instead of the massive body of legitimate research that has definitively denied a link between autism and vaccines.

Sources:
https://www.romper.com/p/everything-donald-trump-has-said-about-vaccines-is-silly-dangerous-15735
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism.html
Jill Stein and Donald Trump are both linked to a dangerous anti-vaccine myth that just won’t die

http://www.vaccines.news/2016-05-25-cnn-tried-to-destroy-donald-trump-with-vaccine-autism-question-but-he-gave-this-amazing-response-2.html

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Trump Attacks Clinton’s Health, Raises Misogynist Implications

Donald Trump has been addressing the health of Hillary Clinton lately, several times repeating that he has doubts about her ability to deal with the stress of being President.

“Importantly, she also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS and all of the many adversaries we face — not only in terrorism, but in trade and every other challenge we must confront to turn our great country around,” Trump said in a speech on Monday, emphasizing the word “physical” in his delivery.

Rumors and conspiracies about Hillary Clinton’s health have been circulating in the Twitter and blogging realms for months, but only recently has Trump really commented on them. There are the debunked claims that she needs help up stairs. More despicably, there are images of forged medical records describing Clinton as suffering from “advancing Subcortical Vascular Dementia” and “frequent Complex Partial Seizures.” The doctor quoted in the records, Dr. Lisa Bardack, has stated that the records are “false, were not written by me and are not based on any medical facts.” The Twitter account that released them has since been deleted.

Both candidates’ personal doctors have given them clean bills of health. Trump’s personal doctor, Dr. Bornstein, described the nominee’s health saying “his physical strength and stamina are extraordinary,” echoing the exact words that Trump used to attack Clinton.

Trump’s comments are certainly aimed directly at Clinton’s gender. Clinton lacks the “strength and stamina” to run the country because at the end of the day she’s still just a girl. Men are stronger than women, implying that Donald Trump is a more fit candidate. “Stamina” also has male sexual connotations of virility are really too horrible to contemplate at any length coming from Trump, but painting Clinton as a sexless or frigid spinster. These implications are bolstered in the minds of detractors by the specter of Bill’s philandering.

In any case, both candidates seem to be in good health for people in their seventh decade of life, and are vouched for by their doctors. Donald Trump’s gendered attacks are catnip for the misogynist faction of his supporters, perpetuating the idea that a woman just isn’t good enough for a man’s job of President.

Sources:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-sickening-attacks-on-clintons-health/2016/08/19/258351be-662b-11e6-96c0-37533479f3f5_story.html?utm_term=.4e7b2b06d019
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fact-check-leaked-clinton-medical-records-real-or-fake/
http://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-slipping-on-stairs/
http://www.npr.org/2016/08/18/490390614/trump-adds-fuel-to-conspiracy-theories-questioning-clintons-health
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/291662-trump-makes-claims-on-clintons-health
What We Actually Know About Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s Health

Donald Trump Is Courting the Black Vote: “What the Hell Do You Have To Lose?”

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Incredibly, Donald Trump is wasting time and resources courting the African American vote. According to generous national polls Donald Trump is polling with just 6% support of the African American voter. In some polls in the swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania Donald Trump is polling with zero percent of the African American vote. Think of that: my cat has the same popular support from African Americans as Donald Trump in Ohio.

But today and yesterday Donald Trump appealed to the black vote at a rally in Michigan. His pitch: How could your already crummy life get any worse?

“Look how much African-American communities are suffering under Democratic control,” Trump said of the most popular President in history among black voters. “To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump? You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”

That’s right, black community, how could your life get any worse? May as well try the Presidential candidate that lumps all African Americans into one poor, uneducated and discouraged group. Trump probably doesn’t even understand why these statements are so patronizing and openly ignorant.

Trump’s grip on reality was pretty tenuous today as he went on that “at the end of four years, I guarantee you that I will get over 95 percent of the African-American vote. I promise you. Because I will produce.” To put that in perspective, Trump is currently polling between zero and six percent nationally among African American voters. President Obama in 2012, historically the most popular candidate among black voters, got 93% of the African American vote. Trump is promising to get two percent more of the vote than President Obama did, going from essentially 0% to 95% because he will be that good at Presidenting.

Hillary Clinton described these remarks as “so ignorant it’s staggering.”

Sources:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/08/19/trump_to_black_voters_you_re_poor_so_vote_for_me.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-black-voters_us_57b77ac1e4b03d5136888aaf
http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37135836
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/07/13/new-polls-in-pennsylvania-and-ohio-show-donald-trump-with-0-percent-of-the-black-vote/

Trump Claims Credit For New NATO Terror Focus (Created in 2002)

Donald Trump has been very critical of NATO, the US’s most important group of allies, calling them “obsolete” and threatening to put conditions on countries for our military help. He praised them on Monday in Youngstown, OH however when he claims that they followed his advice and focused on terror.

“We will also work closely with NATO on this new mission,” Trump said of fighting ISIS and Islamic terrorism. “I had previously said that NATO was obsolete because it failed to deal adequately with terrorism; since my comments they have changed their policy and now have a new division focused on terror threats.”

Trump is trying to take credit for a new NATO Intelligence Chief focused on terror and created in June. Trump tweeted that article out in July and said NATO “made the change without giving me credit.”

The post that was created was essentially an internal restructuring to help with intelligence sharing among countries. It was not a new division, it was not Trump’s idea and according to NATO it is not a big change in their continuing fight against global terrorism. The bureaucracy of NATO is very slow, as it takes a long time to organize all of the countries to do anything, much less create a new post in a few months.

According to Politifact, NATO first issued a formal declaration on terrorism in 1980. Since 9/11 NATO has been heavily involved in the invasion of Afghanistan. There are still 4000 NATO troops in Afghanistan. NATO has had a major role in global counter-terrorism since 2001.

Matthew Fay, an analyst with the Niskanen Center, told Politifact that “it is comical to suggest NATO would change its counter-terrorism policy in response to anything Donald Trump has said about it over the course of his campaign. Like his claim that he was against the invasion of Iraq, this is another reflection of the Republican nominee living in a foreign policy world of his own creation.”

In June a NATO official told Politico that “the creation of a new post of assistant secretary general for intelligence has been considered for some time, as part of our ongoing efforts to increase NATO’s readiness to deal with threats such as hybrid warfare. So there’s no connection to any national election campaign.”

Donald Trump has been very critical of NATO, and dismissive of the protective reaction clauses that are the very heart of the alliance. NATO did not begin looking at terrorism because he suggested it. They have been looking at terrorism for almost 40 years, and have been on the front lines of the war on global terrorism since 9/11. So no, Mr. Trump, they don’t need to listen to you.

Sources:
http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/aug/16/donald-trump/donald-trump-mischaracterizes-nato-change-and-his-/
http://www.wsj.com/articles/nato-considers-new-intelligence-chief-post-1464968453
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/aug/15/donald-trumps-speech-about-fighting-radical-islami/

https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/Radical_Islam_Speech.pdf

Trump Calls Libya “Hillary Clinton’s Disaster”and “Obama’s Worst Mistake,” Though Trump Supported Invasion

In Donald Trump’s terrorism speech in Youngstown on Monday, Trump again hammered Hillary Clinton and President Obama on their foreign policy, reiterating that Clinton and Obama were responsible for the formation of ISIS. They weren’t. This time he somehow links the failures in Iraq to Libya, it is hard to say as he uses only rhetoric without evidence.

“The failures in Iraq were compounded by Hillary Clinton’s disaster in Libya,” Trump said on Monday. “President Obama has since said he regards Libya as his worst mistake. According to then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, the invasion of Libya was nearly a split decision, but Hillary Clinton’s forceful advocacy for the intervention was the deciding factor.”

Donald Trump was very supportive of an invasion of Libya in 2011, as the above video shows. Far from calling the intervention a “failure” or a “disaster,” Trump thought that the US should have had a full scale invasion of the sovereign nation, and that it would be “very easy and very quick.”

I can’t believe what our country is doing. Gaddafi, in Libya, is killing thousands of people and nobody knows how bad it is. And we’re sitting around, we have soldiers all over the Middle East. And we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage. That’s what it is, it’s a carnage.

You talk about the things that have happened in history, this could be one of the worst. Now we should go in, we should stop this guy, it would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it and save these lives.

Additionally, he badly misquoted President Obama. Trump said that Obama “regards Libya as his worst mistake.” What Obama actually said is “probably failing to plan for, the day after, what I think was the right thing to do, in intervening in Libya” was his worst mistake.

Saying that your long term planning was a mistake is not the same thing as saying the entire endeavor was a mistake. If you take a car in to be fixed but you say that you should have put it on a different credit card, that doesn’t mean that you should not have gotten your car fixed.

Whatever your feelings on the US intervention in Libya, it is clear that Donald Trump was very in favor of a full scale war in Libya. What he thought then doesn’t matter, as he only using Libya as a political grist for his mill. While the intervention did not go as well as planned, blasting your opponent for something that you supported publicly is dishonest.

Sources:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/08/16/fact-checking-donald-trumps-major-speech-on-the-islamic-state/
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obama-worst-mistake-president/story?id=38289813
https://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/trump-says-removing-gaddafi-was-mistake-but-pushed-for-libya?utm_term=.yawEZxOVN#.ynmKE4LGD

Trump Says San Bernadino “Warning Signs Were Ignored”

Donald Trump recited a laundry list of recent horrendous crimes to set the mood for his important foreign policy speech in Youngstown, OH yesterday. To promote his bleak view of a world under attack by “radical Islam,” he listed terrorist attacks carried out against the US by people of Muslim faith. He got his facts wrong about the San Bernadino shooters however. He made the following statement at 38:00 in the above video.

Finally, we will need to restore common sense to our security procedures.

Another common feature of the past attacks that have occurred on our soil is that warning signs were ignored…

The female San Bernardino shooter, here on a fiancé visa from Saudi Arabia, wrote of her support for Jihad online. A neighbor saw suspicious behavior – bombs on the floor and other things – but didn’t warn authorities, because said they didn’t want to be accused of racially profiling – now many are dead and gravely wounded.

None of these claims are substantiated, and Trump has never provided evidence while voicing them in the past.

The female shooter, Tashfeen Malik did not make public posts online about jihad. The FBI said that all jihad material was based in private messages and email only, and that the messages were sent under a psuedonym. It is hard to call an private message written under a false name a “warning sign.”

FBI Director Comey stated unequivocally that “So far in this investigation we have found no evidence of the posting on social media by either of them at that period of time and thereafter reflecting their commitment to jihad or to martyrdom.”

Politifact, Factcheck.org, Slate, ABC News and others couldn’t find any evidence of any of the neighbors claiming to see “bombs on the floor.” This is a favorite claim of Trump’s, and he has stated it almost as often as it has been debunked.

A man named Aaron Elswick claimed to be friends with a neighbor who said shortly after the attack that the couple were “receiving quite a number of packages and they were also working a lot in their garage.” Even this bland statement is hearsay.

The FBI did find a large cache of weapons and bombs in the couple’s home after the fact, but no neighbor has come forward and admitted to having actually seen anything before the shooting.

Sources:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/fact-check-trump-mideast-history-wrong-41405714
http://www.factcheck.org/2016/08/trumps-terrorism-speech/
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/jan/28/chris-christie/christie-says-neighbors-san-bernardino-shooters-kn/
http://www.factcheck.org/2016/06/donald-trump-on-orlando-shooting/?platform=hootsuite
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/08/15/trump_s_false_claim_that_san_bernardino_neighbors_saw_bombs_on_the_floor.html

Trump Says US “Should Have Kept The Oil In Iraq,” Misunderstands How The US Wins Wars

Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he opposed the Iraq War, even though he kind of supported it. Regardless, today he said that he was against it then, but if we had to fight it and win it, he would have done it differently. He would have taken the spoils.

I have long said that we should have kept the oil in Iraq – another area where my judgement has been proven correct. According to CNN, ISIS made as much $500 million in oil sales in 2014 alone, fueling and funding its reign of terror. If we had controlled the oil, we could have prevented the rise of ISIS in Iraq – both by cutting off a major source of funding, and through the presence of U.S. forces necessary to safeguard the oil and other vital infrastructure. I was saying this constantly and to whoever would listen: keep the oil, keep the oil, keep the oil, I said – don’t let someone else get it.

If they had listened to me then, we would have had the economic benefits of the oil, which I wanted to use to help take care of the wounded soldiers and families of those who died – and thousands of lives would have been saved.

This proposal, by its very nature, would have left soldiers in place to guard our assets. In the old days, when we won a war, to the victor belonged the spoils. Instead, all we got from Iraq – and our adventures in the Middle East – was death, destruction and tremendous financial loss.

The United States invaded a sovereign country in Iraq that had not invaded any other country, and had not declared war on the US. The reason of Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction was never proven. But regardless of whether the Iraq war was justified, Donald Trump is suggesting that the outcome should have been something other than liberation. “To the victor belonged the spoils.” That’s not liberation, that colonialism.

The US throughout its history has not raped and pillaged the countries that it has conquered. With the Marshall Plan, money streamed into Germany and Japan to rebuild their economies and infrastructure. Seventy years later, the US now has bases in both countries with their blessing, and they are some of our strongest allies and partners. Trump said that “our strategy of nation-building and regime change is a proven failure,” but he would have us creating colonies of our vanquished foes, mere captives to bleed their natural resources.

Sources:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/ap-fact-check-donald-trump-mideast-history/
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/donald-trump-thinks-america-was-too-nice-to-iraq/495971/

Organizing “Trump Election Observers” Might Be Illegal

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The Donald Trump website has a new way to engage his supporters. Trump has already claimed that the fall election will be rigged, and it now encouraging supporters to become “Trump Election Observers.” Trump’s website has a sign up form, though there is very little information revealed. I signed up for more details, but all I got was an invitation to donate, though Team TRUMP did thank me twice for my help.

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As WSTLAY reported yesterday, Trump told a gathered crowd in Altoona, PA that “the only way they can beat [us], in my opinion, and I mean this 100%, if in certain sections of the state they cheat.” After Trump asked them to “go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times,” he has actually seemed to create an organization for these people to keep watch. This despite the fact that voter fraud is vanishingly rare, the cheering Trump supporters seemed enthused.

The only problem is that a political candidate doing this is probably illegal. After a court case in 1982 where minority voters were intimidated out of voting by off-duty Republican police officers, the two parties settled by agreeing to not use certain tactics of voter intimidation.

Trump’s mention of “certain areas” and “certain sections” almost definitely refers to African American sections of Philadelphia, as Trump pulls out the racial dog whistle again for the white voters of Pennsylvania. There were widely discredited accusations of voter fraud in African American sections of Philadelphia in the 2012 election. This seems to be in direct violation of Part E of the 1982 agreement between Republicans and Democrats.

In that agreement, both parties are prohibited from “undertaking any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct, or the actual conduct of, such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting.”

Trump has already called upon law enforcement to help in his efforts, saying Altoona that “we have to call up law enforcement. And we have to have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everybody watching.” It is not a stretch to think that Trump will next call on his “Second Amendment folks” to make sure the election is not rigged.

If Trump or Trump supporters are acting as agents of the Republican party and are found in violation, they could be found in contempt of court. As of right now it is unclear exactly what “everything we are legally allowed to do to stop crooked Hillary from rigging this election” consists of. If Election Observers do more than observe and attempt to keep people from voting it could mean stiff penalties for the Republicans and Trump himself.

Sources:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/08/13/how-donald-trumps-bizarre-voter-watch-effort-could-get-the-gop-in-trouble/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/08/03/heres-how-rare-in-person-voter-fraud-is/
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/lp/volunteer-to-be-a-trump-election-observer
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/8/13/1559809/-Trump-s-call-for-election-watchers-looks-an-awful-lot-like-voter-intimidation
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-warns-of-election-cheating-as-he-fires-up-recruitment-of-poll-watchers/2016/08/13/cac7223c-617f-11e6-8e45-477372e89d78_story.html
http://www.politifact.com/pennsylvania/statements/2016/aug/12/viral-image/internet-philly-rigged-2012-presidential-election-/

Trump Tells Pennsylvania That Cheating Is The Only Way He Loses Their State as He Trails by 10 Points

As Trump’s poll numbers continue to slide, it seems that the possibility of defeat head wormed its way through the armor of Trump’s hubris. In the past week or two he has consistently bought up the specter of election fraud as the only possible reason that he could lose.

Last night in Altoona, PA he addressed a medium sized crowd at a rally, assuring them that he knew “what’s happening here” and that he would win the important swing state of Pennsylvania.

I looked over Pennsylvania and I’m studying it. And we have some great people here. Some great leaders here of the Republican Party, and they’re very concerned about that, and that’s the way we can lose the state, and we have to call up law enforcement, and we have to have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everybody watching.

If we get cheated out of this election, if we get cheated out a win in Pennsylvania, which is such a vital state. Especially when I know what’s happening here folks. I know she can’t beat what’s happening here. The only way they can beat it, in my opinion, and I mean this 100%, if in certain sections of the state they cheat.

“We’re gonna watch Pennsylvania. Go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times,” he said earlier in the speech. “The only way we can lose, in my opinion – and I really mean this, Pennsylvania – is if cheating goes on. I really believe it.”

Trump is worried that Pennsylvania’s voter laws do not require a photo ID to vote. “So I hope you people can sort of not just vote on the 8th,” he said, then asked his supporters to act as spies. “Go around and look and watch other polling places and make sure that it’s 100% fine, because without voter identification – which is shocking, shocking that you don’t have it.” Trump provided no evidence of voter fraud, or any reason to believe that “irregularities” were happening.

A new Quinnipiac poll has Donald Trump trailing by ten points in Pennsylvania, 52 to 42. Five Thirty Eight blog has Clinton projected at 49.6% with Trump at 41%, and give Trump just a 12% chance of winning Pennsylvania. It seems much more realistic to say that the only way that Trump could win Pennsylvania is through cheating.

Sources:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/13/donald-trump-claims-cheating-is-only-way-he-can-lose-pennsylvania
http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/12/politics/donald-trump-pennsylvania-cheating/

http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/pennsylvania/

Trump Continues to Claim that President Obama Literally Founded ISIS

Yesterday Donald Trump said that President Barack Obama founded ISIS. Not created the environment for ISIS to thrive, not the power vacuum that allowed ISIS to get a foothold and not even that Obama encouraged ISIS by inaction. Donald Trump said that Barack Obama founded ISIS.

“You know in many respects [ISIS] honors President Obama,” Trump told a rally yesterday in Florida, starting at 0:20 in the above video. “ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS, okay? He’s the founder! He founded ISIS! And I would say the co-founder would be Crooked Hillary Clinton.”

You may be thinking that Donald Trump was using hyperbole, or that he was saying that Obama figuratively founded ISIS. You would be wrong. Trump supporters have tried to backpedal Trump’s words, saying that Obama created the environment for ISIS, or the way that the US pulled out of Iraq in 2011 helped propel the terrorist organization to the forefront. But Trump wanted to make sure that there was no doubt that he believes President of the United States Barack Obama founded the terrorist organization ISIS. Now might be a good time to point out that it was the Bush Administration that began the withdrawal of troops in Iraq in 2007.

When conservative radio pundit Hugh Hewitt questioned him, Trump confirmed his clearly false position. “Last night you said the president was the founder of ISIS,” Hewitt asked the nominee. “I know what you meant. You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace.”

“No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS, I do,” Trump retorted. “He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”

An audibly irritated Hewitt again tried to clarify, saying that Obama was not sympathetic to ISIS, and in fact “hates them and is trying to kill them.” Trump again doubled down, saying “I don’t care. He was the founder. His — the way he got out of Iraq was that — that was the founding of ISIS, OK?”

Listen to the remarkable exchange here:

ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, was largely formed by a Jordanian named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. After kicking around the fringes of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda throughout the 1990s, he fled to Iraq in 2001. He set up the Party of Monotheism and Jihad, which largely targeted Shiites with a notion to topple the government of Jordan. After the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the name was changed to Al-Qaeda in Iraq and began an extensive campaign of guerrilla warfare and suicide bombings against the US. Zarqawi was killed in 2006, but co-founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took the reins in 2010, changing the name finally to ISIS.

Sources:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-doubles-claims-obama-clinton-founders-isis/story?id=41300481
http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/11/politics/donald-trump-hugh-hewitt-obama-founder-isis/
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/donald-trump-battles-radio-host-150945366.html
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/08/isis-a-short-history/376030/
President Obama Is Not the ‘Founder of ISIS.’ Here’s Who Really Started It

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/why-trumps-crazy-talk-about-obama-and-isis-matters