Republican Donald Trump has characterised Barack Obama and Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton as the “co-founders” of the ISIL militant group.
He is ratcheting up his assertion that they are responsible for the rise of the militant group, as he wages war for the White House.
“Our government isn’t giving us good protection, our government has unleashed ISIS. I call President Obama and Hillary Clinton the founders of ISIS. They’re the founders,” Trump told supporters in Florida.
“In fact, I think we’ll give Hillary Clinton – you know if you’re in a sports team, Most Valuable Player, MVP. You get the MVP award – ISIS will hand her the Most Valuable Player award.”
Trump refused to take back the allegation, despite the urging of some of his allies to do so.
Clinton’s White House campaign described Trump’s remarks as a “false claim.”
Touring a factory in Michigan, Clinton has been setting out what she would do for the economy if elected president.
“The answer is to finally make trade work for us, not against us so my message to every worker in Michigan and across America is this: I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Clinton.
Looking at recent opinion polls, Trump is losing ground to Clinton in the presidential race – she has an average lead of 7.7 percentage points.