London, Aug. 11 : Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump escalated his rhetoric against President Barack Obama by calling him the "founder of ISIS".
He made the comments at a rally in Sunrise, Florida, on Wednesday, a day after he hinted that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton could be assassinated by supporters of gun rights.
"ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He founded ISIS. And, I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton," the Guardian quoted Trump, as saying.
Republicans have always blamed Obama's foreign policy for the turmoil in the Middle East but, Trump has routinely gone a step further by stating directly that Obama is sympathetic to terrorists.
Although the ISIS has expanded rapidly during Obama's tenure, seizing in particular on the Syrian civil war, the administration has also made gains in its military campaign against the terrorist group.
US army Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland said on Wednesday an estimated of 45, 000 fighters linked to the ISIS had been killed in the two years since the US-led military coalition.
To combat the ISIS, Trump has always threatened a ruthless bombing campaign and a ban on Muslim immigration in the US.