On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” while commenting on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s remarks that President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton contributed to the founding of ISIS, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) brought up President Vladimir Putin supporting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and said, “You can say Trump and his friend Putin are the founder of ISIS, which would probably be more accurate than calling out that commander-in-chief in that way.”
Partial transcript as follows:
WALLACE: Let’s turn to Donald Trump’s charge that Hillary Clinton was one of the founders of ISIS. Now, while that was clearly over the top, the fact is that she was the secretary of state at the time that the Obama administration pulled all U.S. troops out of Iraq. She was the secretary of state who was pushing President Obama to intervene in Libya, which helped create a vacuum that ISIS has helped filled. Doesn’t she bear some responsibility if not the founder, some responsibility for the rise of ISIS?
MCCASKILL: Well, first of all, the language that Donald Trump has used as it relates to ISIS is disrespectful to the military that is out there fighting ISIS every day. Just last week, Chris, we took out eight tankers in ISIS, we took out mortar, we hit a tactical unit. We have shrunk the area of ISIS in Iraq by 40 percent. We’d shrunk the area of ISIS in Syria and serious by 20 percent. The men and women that are risking their lives every day through the orders of their commander-in-chief, when they hear a presidential candidate try to act like our president is on the bad guy’s side, how do you think that makes them feel as they’re out there in the field fighting?
WALLACE: In fairness, Senator, he isn’t criticizing her in any way or denigrating the work of the military. He’s saying that President Obama and Hillary Clinton made some bad decisions that have led to the present situation.
MCCASKILL: Well, you can — there’s a lot of reasons that ISIS rose up. One of them was the status of forces agreement known as SOFA that Bush negotiated. We couldn’t leave our troops in Iraq even if the president wanted to because the parliament in Iraq was refusing to give them immunity. Now, Trump probably thinks the SOFA, the status of forces agreement, is a gilded couch at Mar-A-Lago. He probably doesn’t know what SOFA is. But that was a very relevant part of this. It was also important to realize that Assad, by what he did in his country, allowed ISIS to move into what was then Iraq — al Qaeda in Iraq into Syria and get strongholds and recruit. That was the work and support of Putin who is Trump’s best buddy. So, you can say Trump and his friend Putin are the founder of ISIS, which probably would be more accurate than calling out the commander-in-chief in that way.
WALLACE: Well, I’m glad for that last comment. That will certainly get Donald Trump’s attention. Senator McCaskill, thank you. Thanks for your time this week. And it’s always good to talk with you.