2. At Thursday’s CNN debate Republican frontrunner Donald Trump claimed he did not support the 2011 U.S. intervention in Libya and “never discussed the subject”:
“[Ted Cruz] said I was in favor of Libya? I never discussed that subject. I was in favor of Libya? We would be so much better off if Gaddafi were in charge right now. If these politicians went to the beach and didn’t do a thing and we had Saddam Hussein and we had Gaddafi in charge, instead of having terrorism all over the place, we’d be—at least they killed terrorists, all right?”
“And I’m not saying they were good because they were bad. They were really bad. But we don’t know what we’re getting. You look at Libya right now, ISIS, as we speak, is taking over their oil, as we speak. It’s a total mess. We would’ve been better off if the politicians took a day off instead of going into war.”
3. Here’s the video of Trump making the comments on Thursday:
4. The problem is: Trump WAS in favor of going into Libya and passionately argued in support on multiple occasions.
5. In February 2011, Trump urged intervention in Libya saying “we have go in to save these lives” in a video of his video blog. Watch:
6. As previously noted by BuzzFeed News:
“I can’t believe what our country is doing,” said Trump on his video blog. “Qaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we’re sitting around we have soldiers all have the Middle East, and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage and that’s what it is: It’s a carnage.”
Trump said Libya could end up one of the worst massacres in history, and it would be very easy to topple Qaddafi.
“You talk about things that have happened in history; this could be one of the worst,” he said. “Now we should go in, we should stop this guy, which would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it, and save these lives. This is absolutely nuts. We don’t want to get involved and you’re gonna end up with something like you’ve never seen before.”
Trump said the people would take over from Qaddafi eventually and then “they should pay us back” out of appreciation.
“But we have go in to save these lives; these people are being slaughtered like animals,” he said. “It’s horrible what’s going on; it has to be stopped. We should do on a humanitarian basis, immediately go into Libya, knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively, and save the lives.”
“After it’s all done,” Trump said, the protesters who took over the country would reimburse the U.S. through oil.
7. In a March 28, 2011 edition of Piers Morgan Tonight, Trump made similar comments, saying it would be a “major, major black eye for this country” if we didn’t take out the Libyan leader. From the transcript:
MORGAN: Let me start with you Donald Trump. What was your reaction to President Obama’s speech tonight?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I think he’s trying hard. He’s under a lot of stress. It’s not an easy situation. I do really want to know who these people we’re fighting for, who they are. They call them the rebels like they’re these wonderful guys.
But I hear they are aligned with Iran. I hear they may be aligned with al Qaeda. To be honest, wouldn’t that be really very, very sad if we’re bombing all of these tanks, killing all of these people, one way or the other, and Iran ends up take over Libya?
MORGAN: When you hear President Obama say that he wants to get rid of Gadhafi, but he doesn’t want regime change, does that make sense to you?
TRUMP: It makes no sense whatsoever. I think he’s a little afraid of Congress, frankly, He doesn’t want to go in too strongly, because they’ll say that that he broke his constitutional law and he’s got himself some problems.
So I think he’s trying to take sort of a neutral turn. And what he said just makes absolutely no sense. And at this point, if you don’t get rid of Gadhafi, it’s a major, major black eye for this country.
But you also have to ask the other question, who is paying for this? You have Saudi Arabia, the Arab League, the richest nations in the world, saying go in and get them. We don’t like them. Go in and get them. And why aren’t they paying for this?
8. Trump was on to discuss a speech from President Obama that night saying the U.S. role in Libya would be limited.
9. “And at this point, if you don’t get rid of Gaddafi, it’s a major, major black eye for this country.”
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