President Barack Obama “has been the most ignorant president in our history,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Wednesday.
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Obama characterized a possible Trump presidency as “scary” in a pre-taped interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie that aired Wednesday morning. In response, Trump attacked the president and all those who suggest that his foreign policy chops are not up to snuff.
“I think president Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history. His views of the world as he says don’t jibe and the world is a mess,” Trump told reporters at a press conference in Florida. “He has been a disaster as a president. He will go down as one of the worst presidents in the history of our country. It is a mess. And I believe that Hillary Clinton will be even worse.”
“President Obama when he became president, he didn’t know anything. This guy didn’t know a thing,” Trump continued. “And honestly, today he knows less. Today, he knows less. He has done a terrible job.”
The Manhattan billionaire suggested that those in the political world suggesting that he is in above his head when it comes to foreign policy are the same group of leaders who took the U.S. and the world down a dangerous path that spawned the Islamic State and allowed violence to spread into Europe. He said many of the people criticizing him now once supported invading Iraq, which Trump said he sees as disqualifying for those who might provide foreign policy advice.
Trump has long claimed that he never supported invading Iraq, although he said in a 2002 interview on the Howard Stern show that he would support an invasion like the one carried out in 2003. His running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, voted in favor of invading Iraq as a member of the House of Representatives and has defended the invasion in subsequent years.
The Republican nominee said he spoke recently with his foreign advisers and will issue a report on those meetings. He did not say when the report would be released or whether it would more fully flesh out his foreign policy proposals. Those proposals, Trump said, would be shaped by advice that comes not from “people that have certain names,” but instead from those Trump says he trusts.
“So a lot of the people you think are good because you know their name or because you see them on television, I don’t think are good because look at the end result. The end result is our country is a mess,” Trump said. “The Middle East has never been worse. Had we done nothing with the Middle East, had our presidents, with an ‘s,’ gone to the beach and relaxed, we’d be in better shape than we are right now.”