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'Fox and Friends' host blasts Trump for pulling troops out of Syria: 'He said President Obama was the founder of ISIS. He just refounded ISIS'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 12/21/2018 John Haltiwanger

a group of people posing for the camera: Fox host Brian Kilmeade, right, had a tough question for White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. © Twitter Fox host Brian Kilmeade, right, had a tough question for White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. "Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade on Friday ripped into President Donald Trump over his abrupt withdrawal of US troops from Syria, accusing him of opening the door for the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, to make a major comeback.

Speaking with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kilmeade said, "Sarah, he's giving Russia a big win. Vladimir Putin praised him. He's also doing exactly what he criticized President Obama for doing. He said President Obama was the founder of ISIS. He just refounded ISIS."

Read more: Putin applauds Trump's decision to pull US troops out of Syria

Kilmeade noted that ISIS still has thousands of fighters in the region despite the fact it's lost its self-declared caliphate, or the large swath of territory it held across Iraq and Syria. "The president is really on the griddle with this," Kilmeade said.

Looking somewhat shocked and bemused at Kilmeade's assertion, Sanders replied, "Brian, I have to respectfully and vehemently disagree with you."

The White House press secretary added, "The idea that the president has had anything to do with helping ISIS reemerge is absolutely outrageous."

Kilmeade, who often defends Trump's policies, then said, "Leaving is helping."

Sanders continued to push back, stating that if ISIS wants to "pick a fight" with Trump then he will "destroy them and defeat them."

In announcing the Syria pullout, Trump declared ISIS was defeated, despite much evidence to the contrary.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, who did not agree with Trump's thinking and decision on Syria, resigned on Thursday.

Read more: Mattis' resignation letter is a sharp rebuke of Trump's 'America First' philosophy

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump accused former President Barack Obama of being the "founder of ISIS" because of the power vacuum created after he withdrew US troops from Iraq in 2011.

"He was the founder," Trump said at the time. "His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, okay?"

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