Donald Trump, confronted on Fox & Friends Saturday morning with evidence unearthed by BuzzFeed News that he supported the invasion of Iraq and talked up the threat of Saddam Hussein possessing WMDs, downplayed his own past statements and continued to argue he was an early and loud opponent to the war.
Trump has long claimed he warned that the war would destabilize the Middle East, despite no evidence to suggest he held this view or expressed it publicly. Even after his past statements seemed to suggest he was a tepid supporter of the invasion, Trump said Friday: "I said don't go to Iraq and I said it strongly and I said it loud."
Here's what Trump said when confronted with some past statements on Iraq:
In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump wrote Iraq developing WMDs was "a threat" and Saddam Hussein had incentive to attack us. Trump said taking out Saddam wouldn't be crazy if we decided it was necessary:
Asked about this, Trump answered, "how would I know, I was a civilian, I was a businessman. I read the papers like everybody else, and the government was talking about weapons of mass destruction."
Asked about this, Trump said, "Howard Stern was many months before we went into Iraq, and if you saw, I was very tepid like 'oh, I don't know, maybe, maybe.' You know it was very tepid but that was many months before."
Asked about this Trump said, "all I said is they performed the military operation well. I didn't say it was a good thing."
Trump also claimed an interview with Joe Scarborough from six months after the war began proved he said we shouldn't be going in.
"And it just came out today that Joe Scarborough said that in an interview right around that time he had many years ago — I didn't know about this — that I said we shouldn't be going in. That just came out about twenty minutes ago, they just found it."
Here's the Scarborough tweet he's referencing. The quote from Trump is from six months after the war started:
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at email@example.com.
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