Here are some examples:
This “ISIS/ISIL” thing goes back a long time. Trump also singled out Obama's usage of “ISIL” at an NRA event in April 2015, before he was a presidential candidate. “Do you ever notice — it's never ISIS, it's ISIL?” Trump said. “The only one that says ISIL is Obama. The only one. He talks about ISIL; everyone else says ISIS. He's got a little reason because there's a little part of the region — but he's the only one. Just not a good person.”
Trump even seemed to connect the use of the term “ISIL” to Obama possibly not having U.S. interests at heart: “I don't know if he has the interests of the country — he probably does.”
By December, he tweeted this:
Wish Obama would say ISIS, like almost everyone else, rather than ISIL.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2015
And then, in one interview with John Heilemann, then of Bloomberg, Trump actually cut off Heilemann when the interviewer referred to “ISIL.”
“ISIS,” Trump insisted. “You know, it's one thing with the president — he always says ISIL. ISIL, ISIL, ISIL. Everyone else says ISIS. And it's almost like he does it to bother people, okay? You understand.”
Trump's quibbling with Obama's use of “ISIL” didn't seem to be a technical thing. But there is an important technical difference, and conservatives have attacked Obama for it on those grounds. At heart, they think Obama says “ISIL” because the last “S” in “ISIS” refers to Syria, and Obama didn't want to re-litigate how his administration declined to intervene in Syria despite setting a “red line.” Even members of the Obama administration have acknowledged that the “red line” was a mistake.
As Jaime Fuller reported for The Fix a while back, when Obama and NBC's Chuck Todd discussed the topic:
[Chuck] Todd told his panel, “Obviously we refer to it at NBC News as ISIS. The Obama administration, president, says the word ISIL. The last S stands for Syria, the last L they don’t want to have stand for Syria.” The insinuation is that the country Obama decided to stay out of last year is also his Voldemort, better left unnamed.Many conservative news organizations agreed that the acronym was worth 1,000 words.
The “L” in “ISIL” refers to the “Levant,” a region larger than Syria that some argue better describes the Islamic State's reach, given it has also been active in Iraq and has aspirations beyond those two countries.
Some conservatives have said the debate isn't really that important, though. Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, wrote in the National Review back in 2014:
In short, both translations are accurate, both are correct, and both have deficiencies — one refers to a state, the other has an archaic ring. For reasons unknown to me, the executive branch of the U.S. government adopted the ISIL nomenclature and its staff generally use this term, even though members of Congress, the media, and specialists (including me) generally prefer ISIS. So, let’s not worry how to translate Da‘sh and concentrate our efforts instead on ridding the world of this barbaric menace.
So reasonable people can disagree about which is more accurate — or they can just use “the Islamic State,” as The Washington Post does.
The point is that this hastily assembled document from the Trump White House didn't just include typos, factual errors and curious claims that terrorist attacks that dominated the news for weeks were underreported; it also includes a term that the president labeled “disturbing” and disagreed with repeatedly.