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Thursday, September 08, 2016

Trump on Iraq

Last night, as he repeatedly has, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claimed to Matt Lauer on national television that he was an opponent of the Iraq war prior to its start in March 2003:
“I was totally against the war in Iraq. You can look at Esquire magazine from '04, before that,” Trump told Matt Lauer during NBC’s “Commander-in-Chief Forum” Wednesday night, responding to a criticism Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton made earlier in the evening that Trump was not being honest about his position.
On September 11, 2002, Trump was interviewed on Howard Stern's radio program. At about the 1:40 mark of the audio embedded in the video below, Stern asks him directly if he is in favor of invading Iraq. Trump said, "Yeah, I guess so. Uh, you know, I wish the first time it was done correctly."

As the Washington Post reported today, Trump also seemed to support the war when it was initially underway. He certainly wasn't hinting that it was going to be a long and costly disaster:
In an interview with Fox News one day after the March 2003 Iraq invasion, Trump praised the effort while talking about the war’s impact on Wall Street. 
“Well, I think Wall Street’s waiting to see what happens, but even before the fact they’re obviously taking it a little bit for granted, and it looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint, and I think this is really nothing compared to what you’re gonna see after the war is over,” Trump told Fox News’s Neil Cavuto.
This is the most revealing line in the WaPo story, addressing the media's coverage of this year's presidential election: "[Trump's] claim has been repeatedly debunked by independent fact checkers, though Lauer did not press him on the issue."

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