Journalist claims Trump radicalizes ‘more people than ISIS’, is forced to apologize
Persistently anti-Trump journalist and CNN commentator Julia Ioffe has apologized after dramatically claiming on air that the US president has “radicalized” more people than the Islamic State terrorist group.
Ioffe, who writes columns for the Washington Post and is a correspondent for GQ Magazine, made the jaw-dropping claim during a CNN panel discussion on the massacre at a synagogue in Pennsylvania last week.
"I think this president, one of the things that he really launched his presidential run on is talking about Islamic radicalization — and this president has radicalized so many more people than ISIS ever did," Ioffe said during the discussion to some raised eyebrows.
Fellow panelist and Republican commentator David Urban quickly jumped on the comment, calling it “unconscionable” and “irresponsible” and asked moderator Jake Tapper to push back against it, which he seemed reluctant to do.
Later in the show, Tapper gave Ioffe the opportunity to “clarify” her remarks. Ioffe, who is Jewish, admitted that she spoke “in the heat of the moment” and “exaggerated” due to the fact that it has been a “very emotional and personally painful time” for her. She later tweeted that she “absolutely should not have” used “such hyperbole” on air.
I clarified and apologized on air, but I’ll say it again here. This has been a very emotional and painful time, but I absolutely should not have gone with such hyperbole on the air. I apologize.— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) October 29, 2018
"The point I was trying hamfistedly to make is that it's not a coincidence that according to the ADL, the number of antisemitic attacks has jumped nearly 60 percent in the first year that Donald Trump was in office," she added.
But the fact-free estimate about political radicalization wasn’t the only outlandish comment Ioffe made on CNN, however — and Ryan Saavedra, a journalist from the conservative Daily Wire, decided to chronicle them in a thread on Twitter.
Ioffe claims that Trump jokes with his "tens of millions of followers on Twitter that actually he doesn't care all that much" about racism.Ioffe offers zero evidence to support her claims.— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 30, 2018
Saavedra picked apart numerous flimsy claims Ioffe made during her appearance, including that buying an AR-15 is as easy as buying a "pack of cigarettes” and that Trump “jokes” with his "tens of millions of followers on Twitter that actually he doesn't care all that much" about racism.
Ioffe claims that purchasing an AR-15 is just as easy as buying a "pack of cigarettes."This is not even remotely true.— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 30, 2018
Saavedra also took aim at Ioffe’s claim that Trump’s approval ratings "aren't great" by pointing to a recent Rasmussen poll which showed that the president’s approval rating is at 50 percent with African Americans — an all-time high with black voters.
Ioffe claims that Trump's national approval ratings "aren't great"Rasmussen, which is one of the most accurate polling firms in existence, released a new poll today that showed Trump's approval is 50%, and an all-time high with blacks.https://t.co/7C33d3N1oQ— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 30, 2018
The rest of Twitter wasn’t too happy with Ioffe’s CNN performance either, with many tweeting in disbelief at her comment claiming Trump had radicalized more people than ISIS ever did.
Dear @juliaioffe, as someone who faced religious persecution in Lebanon, I found your comparison of @realDonaldTrump to ISIS (with him being WORSE) exactly what I would expect of a lobotomized & privileged Westerner. Well done @GQMagazine & @cnn. Unreal.— Gad Saad (@GadSaad) October 30, 2018
This might be one of the most ridiculous things ever said on @CNN.@GQMagazine's @juliaioffe just claimed @realDonaldTrump has "radicalized so more people than ISIS ever did." Sheer lunacy. And oh by the way, no push-back from @jaketapper. pic.twitter.com/suFC2WKHya— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 29, 2018
Within a three-day span @juliaioffe has: • Blamed the Pittsburgh shooting on Jews.• Said she feels less safe as a reporter in the US than Russia, where dozens of journalists have been killed since Putin took power.• Said Trump has radicalized more people than ISIS.— Natalie Johnson (@nataliejohnsonn) October 29, 2018
@juliaioffe maybe you don’t have the “temperament”2evn B on TV/radio. U jus said smthin more divisive than I’ve heard any #democrat say, & certainly more divise than N E thing @realDonaldTrump has evr said. Look in the mirror. U should lose all ur jobs. Despicable. #KAG#WalkAway— TranslateBioNev1551 (@Nevy_LongBottom) October 30, 2018
Trump himself even weighed in on Ioffe’s comment, suggesting in an interview with Fox News that she “must be some kind of a sick woman.”
Trump weighs in on far-left writer Julia Ioffe after her comments today on CNN, says, "Well that must be some kind of a sick woman."Ioffe, who did not receive any pushback from CNN's Jake Tapper, said that Trump has "radicalized so many more people than ISIS ever did." pic.twitter.com/0tHW2fR3FG— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 30, 2018
The Russian-born, American-raised journalist has found herself in the spotlight before over questionable and factually-challenged ISIS-related comments. In 2017, she was the subject of some ridicule after she claimed that Russia was a “far, far bigger threat” to the US than ISIS, citing the fact that Russia has nuclear weapons but ISIS has only killed “a few dozen here and a few dozen people there.”