(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump has claimed that he was being sarcastic when talking about President Obama being the “founder of ISIS,” but it isn’t the first time during this campaign when he’s claimed that he was being “sarcastic” or said he’s been misinterpreted.
Trump regularly blasts the media for distorting his comments, including when he said Friday that “these dishonest media people, they’re the most dishonest people, they say ‘Oh, did he mean that?’”
While he takes umbrage with the interpretation of his comments, he has also boasted about being difficult to decipher.
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
Here are some of the instances when Trump said his words were misconstrued:
1. When He Kind of Backtracked on Criticism of John McCain’s “Hero” Status
Shortly after launching his presidential campaign in July 2015, Trump got into hot water over remarks he made about Sen. John McCain, who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
“He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured, okay? I hate to tell you,” Trump said.
At the time, there were calls to have him drop out of the race, and he appeared to turn to social media to do damage control.
Captured or not, all our soldiers are heroes!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2015
That same day, he expanded on his thoughts about McCain in a Facebook post.
“I am not a fan of John McCain because he has done so little for our Veterans and he should know better than anybody what the Veterans need, especially in regards to the VA,” Trump wrote.
“I have great respect for all those who serve in our military including those that weren’t captured and are also heroes,” he wrote.
2. When He Clarified Where Megyn Kelly’s “Blood” Was Coming From
Trump sparred with the Fox News anchor during an August primary debate and criticized her and her line of questioning afterwards.
He told CNN the next day that “there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
In an interview with ABC’s This Week shortly afterwards, Trump reiterated his earlier clarification that by “wherever” he meant her nose, and not how many people interpreted it originally.
3. When He Used a Crude Word to Describe Ted Cruz
Ahead of the New Hampshire primary in February, Trump had been discussing Cruz’s remarks about waterboarding during the ABC News debate days earlier.
“You heard the other night at the debate, they asked Ted Cruz, serious question: “Well what do you think of waterboarding?” Is it okay? And honestly I thought he’d say absolutely and he didn’t,” Trump told the audience.
After that, a woman shouted a crude word.
“Okay you’re not allowed to say and I never expect to hear that again,” Trump said in response. “I never expect to hear that from you again.”
But then Trump repeated the woman’s remarks.
“She said he’s a [*****] that’s terrible,” he said, before throwing his hands up.
Trump pointed to the fact that he was repeating the words of a supporter — rather than initially saying them himself –- as the reason why he said the word, nonetheless.
4. When He Said it Would Be Good if Russian Hackers Found Hillary Clinton’s Emails
During the Democratic National Convention, Trump held a news conference where he called (“sarcastically,” he said later) for Russian hackers to find the tens of thousands of deleted emails from Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you would probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” he said at the news conference.
When pressed about it later in the same news conference, he said “I hope they do” find the emails.
He later said it was a joke.
“Obviously I was being sarcastic and a lot of people really smiled and laughed. It was said in a sarcastic manner, obviously,” he told Fox News.
At a later event in Iowa, Trump was asked how voters are supposed to know when he is and isn’t being sarcastic.
“I think people understand that very… I think it’s very understandable,” he said.
5. When He Said “Second Amendment People” Could Stop Clinton from Picking SCOTUS Judges
Questions were raised — incorrectly, Trump said — over whether or not the real estate mogul was suggesting violence against Hillary Clinton when he talked about the prospect of her picking Supreme Court justices during a speech.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” he said at an event in North Carolina. “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks.
“Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”
Trump made an indirect reference to the comments at an event in Virginia the following day, appearing to blame the media for spinning his comments into a threat against Clinton.
“They can take a little story that isn’t a story and make it into a big deal. Happens so much. It happens so much,” he said. “And speaking of that, remember this: We have so many things that we have to protect in this country. We have to protect our Second Amendment, which is under siege.”
Trump’s campaign instead said that he meant the power of “Second Amendment people” to unify.
6. When He Was Being Sarcastic When Talking About Obama Founding ISIS
Trump insisted over and over Thursday that he had meant literally that Obama founded the terrorist organization.
“I call President Obama and Hillary Clinton the founders of ISIS. They are the founders,” Trump said at a National Association of Home Builders event in Miami Thursday morning.
“He is the founder in a true sense,” he said in the Florida rally Thursday night.
And when pressed to clarify in interviews Thursday, Trump insisted he had said what he meant.
“No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do,” he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Thursday when pressed on whether he actually meant that Obama created the vacuum that led to ISIS.
“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.
Less than 24 hours later, he tweeted out that the media was not getting his “sarcasm” and then repeated it later.
“Obviously I’m being sarcastic,” he said, “but not that sarcastic to be honest with you.”
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.