Donald Trump repeatedly insisted Monday night that he opposed the Iraq War from the outset, despite ample evidence that he supported an invasion in the run up to the conflict.
During Monday's debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, Trump flatly stated "I did not support the war in Iraq" when confronted by moderator Lester Holt.
"I was against the war," he said again, adding a moment later, "I was against the war in Iraq. Just so you put it out."
Despite Trump's claims, he was recorded in 2002 telling Howard Stern that he supported invading Iraq.
“Yeah, I guess so,” Trump responded when asked about the invasion. “I wish the first time it was done correctly.”
In 2003, a day after the war began, he also said the invasion “looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint.”
Shortly thereafter Trump began criticizing the war, and his positions continued to shift in various directions. By 2004, he was calling the war a "mess."
Over the last year, Trump has repeatedly claimed — falsely — to have opposed the Iraq War, making the comment a prominent part of interviews and campaign speeches.
During Monday's debate, he said that "the record shows that I'm right" and argued that Fox News host Sean Hannity could prove him right. He also called the claim that he supported the war "mainstream media nonsense" put out by Hillary Clinton.
Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Jim Dalrymple II at email@example.com.
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