During the final debate on Wednesday night, moderator Chris Wallace tried to get some clarity on the candidates' positions on Syria, and on Aleppo in particular. The city has born the brunt of a brutal strategy waged by the government of Bashar al-Assad that has seen untold numbers killed and maimed as he seeks to regain control.
During the last debate, Trump said that "Aleppo has basically fallen," which is not true.
"Let's turn to Aleppo, Mr. Trump," Wallace said on Wednesday night, before trying to raise the point that the city had not in fact fallen. Trump resisted, saying repeatedly: "Have you seen it? Have you seen it? Have you seen what's happening to Aleppo?"
And it went on from there. Here's the transcript:
Well, Aleppo is a disaster. It's a humanitarian nightmare. But it has fallen from the — from any standpoint. I mean, what do you need, a signed document? Take a look at Aleppo. It is so sad when you see what's happened.
And a lot of this is because of Hillary Clinton, because what's happened is, by fighting Assad, who turned out to be a lot tougher than she thought, and now she's going to say, oh, he loves Assad, she's — he's just much tougher and much smarter than her and Obama. And everyone thought he was gone two years ago, three years ago. He — he aligned with Russia.
He now also aligned with Iran, who we made very powerful. We gave them $150 billion back. We give them $1.7 billion in cash. I mean, cash. Bundles of cash as big as this stage. We gave them $1.7 billion.
Now they have — he has aligned with Russia and with Iran. They don't want ISIS, but they have other things, because we're backing — we're backing rebels. We don't know who the rebels are. We're giving them lots of money, lots of everything. We don't know who the rebels are. And when and if — and it's not going to happen, because you have Russia and you have Iran now. But if they ever did overthrow Assad, you might end up with — as bad as Assad is, and he's a bad guy, but you may very well end up with worse than Assad.
If she did nothing, we'd be in much better shape. And this is what's caused the great migration, where she's taking in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, who probably in many cases — not probably, who are definitely...in many cases, ISIS-aligned, and we now have them in our country, and wait until you see — this is going to be the great Trojan horse. And wait until you see what happens in the coming years. Lots of luck, Hillary. Thanks a lot for doing a great job.
Miriam Elder is the world editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 5B5F EC17 C20B C11F 226D 3EBE 6205 F92F AC14 DCB1
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