By Tessa Berenson
Updated: August 12, 2016 7:51 AM ET

After reiterating comments that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the “founders of ISIS,” Donald Trump backtracked Friday, saying it was just a joke.

Having apparently watched a CNN item on the remarks, the Republican presidential contender took to Twitter early Friday to say he was just being sarcastic:

In an interview on August 11 with Hugh Hewitt, Trump was questioned on whether the remark was serious by the conservative radio host. “Last night, you said the President was the founder of ISIS. I know what you meant. You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace,” Hewitt said.

But the GOP nominee insisted he meant it literally. “No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS,” Trump said. “I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”

Read More: Inside Donald Trump’s Meltdown

A few hours later on Friday, Trump continued to mock the ‘seriousness’ of the media in another tweet:

 

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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