Donald Trump was allowed to do another one of those phone interviews this morning, this time for the business news channel CNBC. He repeated his claim made last night that President Obama was the founder of the terrorist group ISIS.
The outlandishness of this statement and others, makes clear this is a deliberate campaign strategy of Trump's. It's one never seen before in American presidential politics. Saying things whose sole purpose is to dominate the airwaves, attention-seeking for attention's sake. Trump seems to realize he'll either win or lose with this style, but he's not going to change it.
Donald Trump told CNBC on Thursday he will either win with his frank and uncensored style of campaigning or enjoy a "very, very nice long vacation."
Republicans have long hoped Trump will pivot on his behavior, but in the "Squawk Box" interview, he said:
"I'm a truth teller. All I do is tell the truth. And if at the end of 90 days, I've fallen short because I'm somewhat politically correct even though I'm supposed to be the smart one and even though I'm supposed to have a lot of good ideas, it's OK. I go back to a very good way of life."
A string of unfavorable poll numbers and growing opposition from within his own party's congressional membership have made Republicans increasingly nervous that they have toxic nominee on their hands that could endanger the party's future.
In the wide-ranging phone interview, Trump insisted that President Barack Obama "absolutely" founded ISIS. He also discussed economic issues, including regulation and infrastructure spending.
Asked about them, he doubled down and said "[Obama] was the founder of ISIS absolutely, the way he removed our troops. ... I call them co-founders," he added, referring to his Democratic presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.
"I think we're going to have victory, but we'll see," Trump said. "At the end it's either going to work or I'm going to have a very, very nice long vacation."