Based on the extensive interviews he has made with Obama over the years, Geoffrey Goldberg counters Trump's insinuation that Obama has some kind of sympathy with Muslim terrorists:
Obama, in my reading, does not—contra his right-leaning critics—suffer illusions about the pathologies afflicting the broader Muslim world. If anything, his pessimism on matters related to the dysfunctions of Muslim states, and to the inability of the umma—the worldwide community of Muslims—to contain and ultimately neutralize the extremist elements in its midst, has, at times, an almost-paralyzing effect on him. The president has come to the conclusion that the underlying problems afflicting Islam are too deep, and too resistant to American intervention, to warrant implementation of the sort of policies that his critics, including his critics in foreign-policy think tanks, demand. . . .To Goldberg the problem is that Obama, after being perhaps too naive about the possibility of rapid progress in the Arab world early in his term (remember the Cairo speech), has become too pessimistic about the possibility of change. These days he is very reluctant to get more involved in Syria or Iraq because he does not believe a good outcome is likely. Given the limitations on his time, he prefers to spend it working on issues related to East Asia or Cuba where he thinks he might make a difference. I understand what Goldberg is saying, but since I share Obama's pessimism about Iraq, Syria and sundry other places I understand where he is coming from.
Again and again in our conversations, Obama spoke about the Arab and Muslim worlds in ways that ran counter—dramatically counter—to the caricature of his views as advanced by critics. At one point, he suggested, to my surprise (I’m not immune to the power of these caricatures) that far too many Arab Muslims, in particular, have given themselves over to hatred and violence. He contrasted these Middle Easterners with young people in East and Southeast Asia (and in Africa and Latin America as well), by saying, “They are not thinking about how to kill Americans. What they’re thinking about is How do I get a better education? How do I create something of value?” Obama went on to say that if America is not engaging these young Asians “because if the only thing we’re doing is figuring out how to destroy or cordon off or control the malicious, nihilistic, violent parts of humanity, then we’re missing the boat.” . . .
Privately, Obama expresses the deepest loathing for ISIS and other radical Islamist groups. ISIS, he has noted, stands for—quite literally—everything he opposes.
Previous thoughts on Goldberg and Obama here.