In an attempt to cover for Donald Trump, right-wing media blamed Hillary Clinton after the Republican presidential candidate's anti-Muslim rhetoric was featured in a terrorist group's recruitment video. Conservative media claim that Hillary Clinton inspired the terrorist group to create the video when she stated that Trump's Islamophobic rhetoric could help ISIS recruit.
Hillary Clinton Noted That Trump's Islamophobic Rhetoric Could Help ISIS Recruitment
Hillary Clinton: ISIS Is “Showing Videos Of Trump Insulting Islam And Muslims In Order To Recruit More Radical Jihadists.” During the December 19 Democratic primary debate, Hillary Clinton said that ISIS is using videos of Donald Trump's inflammatory rhetoric about Muslims as a recruitment tool, adding that Donald Trump “is becoming ISIS's best recruiter”:
HILLARY CLINTON: You know, I was a senator from New York after 9/11, and we spent countless hours trying to figure out how to protect the city and the state from perhaps additional attacks. One of the best things that was done, and George W. Bush did this and I give him credit, was to reach out to Muslim Americans and say, we're in this together. You are not our adversary, you are our partner.
And we also need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don't fall on receptive ears. He is becoming ISIS's best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists. So I want to explain why this is not in America's interest to react with this kind of fear and respond to this sort of bigotry. [Democratic Debate Transcript, 12/19/15]
Clinton Campaign Clarified That She “Didn't Have A Particular Video In Mind,” Was Referencing ISIS Social Media Activity. Clinton campaign manager John Podesta and spokeswoman Jennifer Pamieri expounded on the candidate's statement on Sunday morning political talk shows the following day, explaining that while Trump's comments may not appear in public recruiting videos, they were being circulated on jihadists' social media as a recruiting tool. As New York Magazine reported:
Sunday morning also saw Clinton campaign manager John Podesta and spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri work to walk Clinton's statement back. Appearing on ABC's This Week, Palmieri said that Clinton “didn't have a particular video in mind” but was instead referring to jihadists' social-media activity, a line Podesta echoed on NBC's Meet the Press, where he insisted that “if you look at what's going on [on social media], they are definitely pointing at Mr. Trump.” The Clinton campaign has also highlighted comments from the SITE Intelligence Group's Rita Katz, who told NBC News earlier this month that across ISIS's social media, which SITE tracks, “They love [Trump] from the sense that he is supporting their rhetoric ... They follow everything Donald Trump says. When he says, 'No Muslims should be allowed in America,' they tell people, 'We told you America hates Muslims and here is proof.'” Katz then subsequently confirmed to the Washington Post that “ISIS didn't feature Trump in a video, but ISIS supporters and recruiters have used Trump's rhetoric to promote ISIS' ideas and agenda.” [New York Magazine, 12/20/15]
NBC News: “Donald Trump's Muslim Bashing Aids Cause Of Terror Networks, Say Experts.” NBC News previously reported that experts say Trump's “controversial proposal for barring all Muslims from entering the United States is being used by the head-chopping fanatics and other terrorist groups like al Qaeda to attract recruits by painting the land of the free as opposed to Islam,” citing the use of his comments in ISIS social media. From the December 8 article:
Donald Trump's call for closing America's door to Muslims is opening a window of opportunity for groups like ISIS, counter-terrorism experts and human rights advocates say.
The Republican presidential candidate's controversial proposal for barring all Muslims from entering the United States is being used by the head-chopping fanatics and other terrorist groups like al Qaeda to attract recruits by painting the land of the free as opposed to Islam, experts told NBC News on Tuesday.
“They love him from the sense that he is supporting their rhetoric,” said Rita Katz with the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors the social media activities of Islamic terrorist groups. [NBCNews.com, 12/8/15]
Somalia-Based Militant Group Released Recruitment Video Featuring Trump's Anti-Muslim Comments
ABC: “Al-Shabaab Releases Recruitment Video Featuring Donald Trump.” On January 1, ABC News reported that the al Qaeda-affiliated Somali militant group Al-Shabaab released a recruitment video online highlighting Trump's previous anti-Muslim remarks:
The militant group Al-Shabaab -- Al Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia -- has released a recruitment video featuring GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.
The more-than 51-minute propaganda video comes on the heels of a war of words between Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton over her suggestion that the real estate mogul's controversial remarks about Muslims would be used to recruit jihadis.
The video includes a clip of Trump calling for a “shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States.
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the [bleep] is going on,” Trump says in the clip. The group bleeps out Trump's use of the word “hell.” [ABC, 1/1/16]
Conservative Media React To Recruitment Video Featuring Trump By Blaming Hillary Clinton: She Is The “Al Shabaab Media Advisor”
CNN Commentator Ben Ferguson: Al-Shabaab Got The Idea For Their Terrorist Recruitment Video Featuring Donald Trump “From Hillary Clinton.” On the January 2 edition of CNN Newsroom, Ben Ferguson, a CNN political commentator, blamed Clinton for the recruitment video claiming that Al-Shabaab “got their idea [for the video] from Hillary Clinton when she mentioned putting Donald Trump in a video”:
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD (HOST): Let me begin with you, Ben, on that and how this video by Al-Shabaab may in any way influence what is or is not said on the campaign trail.
BEN FERGUSON: Yeah, I don't think it will influence the election in any capacity. I mean if anything, they got their idea from Hillary Clinton when she mentioned putting Donald Trump in a video.
ISIS, Al-Shabaab and other terrorists like this, they understand social media. They understand how to get media attention. As soon as that was said, I'm sure they said, “that's a great idea. Let's throw Donald Trump in there. We'll get even more publicity because of this, we'll get to bring Hillary Clinton into this.” And it worked well for them. [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 1/2/16]
Breitbart News: “After The Trump Terror Vid,” Hillary Clinton Should Be Called “Al Shabaab Media Advisor.” On January 2, Breitbart News' Raheem Kassam suggested that Clinton's debate claim “plant[ed] the idea in the minds of the brutal terrorist group.” Kassam asserted that Clinton should now be referred to as "'Al Shabaab Media Advisor' Hillary Clinton":
[L]et's look at what has happened since she said, during the internationally broadcast Democrat debate, that Islamist extremists were using Mr. Trump as a recruiting tool.
Well, they are now.
Let's think about that. They weren't before. They are now.
Let's think about what that says about the former Secretary of State of the United States. Did she plant the idea in the minds of the brutal terrorist group? Or maybe these are the lovely “rebels against ISIS” we keep hearing about, with scant evidence, that every establishment global “leader” seems to want us to get into bed with.
She wasn't right all along. She made it up, broadcast her idea live on international television, and someone in the Al Shabaab media team went, “Oh sh*t. You know how we can steal some of that international news coverage that ISIS keeps getting? Let's actually make that video!”
Sure enough, Al Shabaab begins to spike on Google Trends over the past 24 hours, currently locked neck and neck with “Islamic State” as a search term.
So instead of “Former Secretary of State”, can we start calling her “Al Shabaab Media Advisor” Hillary Clinton? I know I will. [Breitbart News, 1/2/15]
RedState: “Al Qaeda Is Now Running Interference For Hillary Clinton.” In a January 2 column, RedState.com's Leon Wolf claimed that the Al-Shabaab video featuring Donald Trump suggests that “Al Qaeda is now running interference for Hillary Clinton,” implying that their recruitment video featuring Donald Trumpwas in response to Clinton's debate claim:
Several weeks ago, Hillary Clinton made the claim that ISIS was using Donald Trump in their recruitment videos. This was fact checked by the media as completely and patently false. In fact, it turned out that the United States politicians used by ISIS in their recruitment videos were in fact Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
This was obviously pretty embarrassing for Hillary Clinton, but not to worry: an Al Qaeda affiliate has apparently set out to correct their error by releasing a new video featuring Donald Trump (and, bizarrely, relevant current United States political figure Malcolm X). So while it still isn't true that ISIS has used Donald Trump footage in recruitment videos, now at least Hillary can say that “terrorist groups” have used Trump footage in their recruitment videos - which is clearly something she has been itching to truthfully say forever. Score one for Clinton.
Look, Al Qaeda and ISIS are not stupid. They realize that Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State was the best thing that's ever happened to their efforts in the Middle East. It used to be that they were mostly protest groups against Middle Eastern dictators, and now they are running the show in significant parts of the Muslim world.
One can only imagine the things extremist terrorist groups might accomplish with Hillary Clinton as the actual President of the United States. Certainly Al Qaeda and ISIS can imagine it. And that's why they're busy running interference for Hillary Clinton right now. [RedState.com, 1/2/15]
Rush Limbaugh Bragged That He Predicted “That An ISIS-Trump Recruitment Video Would Materialize” Because Of Clinton's Debate Claim. On the January 4 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Rush Limbaugh bragged about a claim he made during his December 22 show in which he said that after Clinton made the suggestion about a terrorist recruitment video featuring Trump that one “would materialize”:
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Last year, you will remember that Hillary Clinton claimed that there was an ISIS video of Donald Trump being used as a recruitment tool. And, of course, there wasn't. There was none whatsoever, I mean, Obama's the biggest recruitment tool that ISIS has. But this is something the left has been saying ever since George W. Bush and Gitmo. Something else I was really steaming about when I thought about it, I raised it a little before we left. This idea that all it takes for your average, ordinary, minding their own business, peaceful Muslim to join the jihad, is for somebody to criticize Islam. It's absurd. And how, on the one hand, people can say it's a religion of peace and they have no relationship to violence, they have no relationship to terrorism. But on the other hand, we're told, that all you'vegot to do is utter one critical line, one critical syllable of Islam, and those peaceful loving Muslims become terrorists. How do the two go together? They don't. It's absurd. It's an absurd claim. It's an absurd prediction. It's just as flimsy and nonexistent as the so-called war on women that the Democrats mounted. Then, of course, Trump comes out and says what he says about wanting to put a moratorium on the immigration of Muslims and refugees and so forth until we get a handle on what's going on here -- this after San Bernardino. And Hillary starts squawking like a clucking hen about the fact that there's a video now that ISIS has put together of Trump that they're running around showing it to otherwise peaceful Muslims that makes them so mad they join the jihad. And there wasn't such a video. But I predicted that there would be.
December 22, I, your host El Rushbo, predicting that an ISIS-Trump recruitment video would materialize. Lo and behold, with the dawn of the New Year, ABC News: Al-Shabaab releases recruitment video featuring Donald Trump. CBS News: Terror group uses Donald Trump soundbite in purported propaganda video. There wasn't one. Hillary says there is, and there isn't, and then all of a sudden the ISIS guys say oh man, there's an opportunity to go create one because they know the media in this country sidles up to Democrats. So the media in this country will sidle up to ISIS and its claims in order to impugn Trump or any other Republican. We have a montage yesterday and last night, ABC News, NBC News, MSNBC all lying about this. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/4/16]
CNN's Jeffrey Lord Blamed Clinton For Encouraging The Creation Of The Propaganda Video “By The Act Of Saying This In Public.” On the January 3 edition of CNN's New Day Sunday,host Victor Blackwell asked about “the assumption, or conspiracy theory” that the recruitment video “was drummed up by the Clintons.” In response, CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord accused Clinton of encouraging Al-Shabaab to create the video “by the act of saying this in public”:
VICTOR BLACKWELL (HOST): Well, let me just ask a more direct question. Do you expect it, or do you believe that this was something that was drummed up politically, not by Al-Shabaab, beyond, you know, the connection, or the reported connection --
JEFFREY LORD: Victor, I do think that when Hillary Clinton says this in public and gets all of the intended publicity, that there are people out there, you know, on the other side, ISIS, et cetera, that will take her up on it and just, you know, do as she suggests and put him in a video. Sure.
BLACKWELL: So after, therefore, because of?
LORD: What? I'm sorry?
BLACKWELL: After, therefore, because of. That this was produced because Hillary Clinton said that he was in that ISIS video?
LORD: I'm not saying that she, you know, there is a conspiracy here. I'm simply saying that by the act of saying this in public, the bad guys will pick up on it and do it. [CNN, New Day Sunday,1/3/16]
James Taranto: “Al Shabab Is Taking Recruitment Advice From Hillary Clinton.” In a January 2 tweet, The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto accused Hillary Clinton of providing recruitment advice to Al-Shabaab [sic]:
So al Shabab is taking recruitment advice from Hillary Clinton.
-- James Taranto (@jamestaranto) January 2, 2016