After repeatedly saying in recent days that President Obama is the "founder of ISIS," Donald Trump seemed to change his tune Friday morning, saying that he was being "sarcastic."
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But at a rally in Erie, Pa. Friday afternoon, Trump amended himself once more, saying he was being "not that sarcastic" in his remarks about the president, which garnered criticism because of other dubious suggestions about Obama, such as his birthplace and religion.
"When I said that Obama -- and of course I’m being sarcastic. And they know that. Because after I said that, I said he’s the MVP," Trump said.
"So I said, the founder of ISIS. Obviously I’m being sarcastic," he said. Then, perplexingly, he immediately added, "Then, then -- but not that sarcastic, to be honest with you. "
Trump tweeted early this morning that he was being sarcastic when he called President Obama the "founder of ISIS."
“Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) ‘the founder’ of ISIS, & MVP,” he tweeted. “THEY DON'T GET SARCASM?”
Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) "the founder" of ISIS, & MVP. THEY DON'T GET SARCASM?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2016
Trump insisted over and over Thursday that he meant that Obama founded the terrorist organization.
"He is the founder in a true sense," he said in the Florida rally Thursday night.
When pressed to clarify in interviews Thursday, Trump insisted he meant what he said.
In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Hewitt attempted to offer an olive branch.
"You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace," he began.
"No, I meant he's the founder of ISIS. I do," Trump responded.
"I meant exactly that. He's the founder of ISIS," he told the Miami NBC affiliate Thursday night when asked what he meant by the comment.
Trump then mocked the "poor, pathetic" media in a subsequent tweet this morning for being unable to tell when he is being sarcastic.
I love watching these poor, pathetic people (pundits) on television working so hard and so seriously to try and figure me out. They can't!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2016
“It goes without saying that this is a false claim from a presidential candidate with an aversion to the truth and an unprecedented lack of knowledge,” Jake Sullivan, the Clinton campaign’s senior policy adviser, said in a statement Thursday.
At Friday's rally, Trump was also joined by Reince Priebus, Chair of the Republican National Committee, the first time he has joined Trump on the trail.
"Let me tell you something, Donald Trump, the Republican party, all of you, we're going to put him in the White House and save this country together!” Priebus said.
ABC News’ Lee Ferran contributed to this report.