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Hillary Clinton took flak from fact-checkers back in December when she claimed that Donald Trump’s comments were being used as a recruiting tool by ISIS.
Fast-forward five months. Clinton says those links now do exist.
"When you say we're going to bar all Muslims, you are sending a message to the Muslim world and you're also sending a message to the terrorists because we now do have evidence," Clinton said May 19 on CNN. "We have seen how Donald Trump is being used to essentially be a recruiter for more people to join the cause of terrorism."
So, has something changed?
Not long after Clinton’s initial comments, Al Shabaab, the East African affiliate of the al-Qaida terrorist group, released a 51-minute video telling "Muslims of the West" that they are not welcome in countries like the United States. Ten minutes into the video, it says the United States has a history of "slavery, segregation, lynching, and Ku Klux Klan, and tomorrow, it will be a land of religious discrimination and concentration camps."
It then cuts to Trump calling for a temporary but "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S," according to SITE Intelligence Group, which studies jihadist propaganda, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. It urges American Muslims to leave the United States and join the group.
Later, on March 24, Newsweek reported that an ISIS video released in the wake of the Brussels attack featured an audio clip from Trump.
"Brussels was one of the great cities, one of the most beautiful cities of the world 20 years ago. It was amazing, actually, and safe. And now it's a horror show. It's an absolute horror show," Trump says in the video, as ISIS lets the phrase "absolute horror show" repeatedly echo and fade.
Clinton's initial statement in December "was false at the time," said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "It’s true now."
Trump's comment in the Brussels video may not seem inflammatory, he said, yet "if you game it out from the perspective of, say, ISIS and they think Donald Trump is a great recruiting tool, then probably they don't want to play him up too much before the election because they'd want him to win."
There may be other videos, Gartenstein-Ross said. "Unlike in the past when you had multiple analysts watch every al-Qaida release, ISIS's video production operation is so large, it's really hard for people to watch every single ISIS release because they release so much. They're extraordinarily prolific. I would wager there are other uses of him in their propaganda."
Clinton said, "We now do have evidence. We have seen how Donald Trump is being used to essentially be a recruiter for more people to join the cause of terrorism."
That wasn't the case the first time Clinton claimed this. But now two different terror groups have used Trump's words in propaganda videos.
We rate this claim True.
IQMedia, "CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin," May 19, 2016 at 3 pm EST
PolitiFact, "No evidence for Hillary Clinton's claim that ISIS is using videos of Donald Trump as recruiting tool," Dec. 19, 2015
The New York Times, "Qaeda Affiliate Uses Video of Donald Trump for Recruiting," Jan. 1, 2016
Wall Street Journal, "Al Qaeda-Linked Group Cites Donald Trump in Terrorist Recruiting Video," Jan. 1, 2016, and "How an Al-Qaeda Offshoot Sees the U.S. Election," March 29, 2016
BBC, "Al-Shabab militant group uses Donald Trump in propaganda film," Jan. 2, 2016
Associated Press, "Donald Trump Dismisses Recruitment Video," Jan. 3, 2016
Mother Jones, "Al Qaeda-Linked Group Cites Donald Trump in Terrorist Recruiting Video," Jan. 1, 2016 and "A New ISIS Recruitment Video Stars Donald Trump," March 24, 2016
Newsweek, "Donald Trump Calls Brussels a 'Disaster' After Attacks," March 22, 2016, and "ISIS Releases New Video Celebrating the Brussels Attacks," March 24, 2016
The Hill, "Former CIA chief agrees Trump has become a 'recruiting sergeant' for ISIS," March 29, 2016, and "ISIS uses Trump in video touting Brussels attacks," March 24, 2016
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