(CNN) Donald Trump said the policies of President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “created ISIS,” the furthest the GOP front-runner has gone in tying the Obama administration’s policies to the rise of the terror group.
Trump offered no evidence for his claim here at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, in which he also said escalating tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia were signs that the Islamic Republic wanted to take over the longtime U.S. ally in the Middle East.
“They’ve created ISIS. Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama,” Trump said.
He couched his hit in a brief discussion of the Iranian protests outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran, which erupted after Saudi Arabia executed 47 people, including a dissident Shiite cleric.
“In Tehran, they’re burning down the Saudi embassy, you see that?” Trump said as he opened his remarks. “Now, what that is is Iran wants to take over Saudi Arabia. They always have. They want the oil, OK? They’ve always wanted that.”
Trump has blamed both Democrats and former President George W. Bush when talking about unrest in the Middle East, particularly citing the 43rd president’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003. In recent weeks, he’s been particularly aggressive in going after Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, and her record leading the State Department.
Two of Trump’s 2016 competitors, Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum, said in November that Clinton and Obama were to blame for ISIS.