Donald Trump admitted on Sunday that he supported some type of U.S. intervention in Libya in 2011, but qualified that he never supported "strong intervention."
Trump has claimed throughout the campaign that he would have opposed the Libyan intervention in 2011 and that the country would be better off if Muammar Qadhafi were still in power. As BuzzFeed News first reported earlier this year, Trump, on his blog and in appearances on cable news, pushed for intervening in Libya in 2011 on humanitarian grounds.
"I was for something, but I wasn't for what we have right now," Trump told CBS' John Dickerson on Face the Nation Sunday.
"I didn't mind surgical," Trump continued. "And I said surgical. You do a surgical shot and you take him out. But I wasn't for what happened. Look at the way — I mean look at with Benghazi and all of the problems that we've had. It was handled horribly"
"I was never for strong intervention," he added. "I could have seen surgical where you take out Gaddafi and his group."
The admission comes after several months of distortions about his earlier position on the intervention. Two weeks ago, the Republican nominee told MSNBC's Morning Joe that he wouldn't have intervened in Libya. In a Republican primary debate earlier this year, Trump also claimed to have never even discussed the subject of Libya before the intervention.
Trump now characterizes the intervention as a failure of President Obama's foreign policy, something he uses to pan Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. Clinton strongly supported the intervention as a member of the administration.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.