During the first presidential debate, Donald Trump again insisted that he did not support the Iraq War, despite some evidence to the contrary.
Trump’s rival, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, said in response to a question about terrorism that Trump “supported the invasion of Iraq” in 2003. Trump cut in to say “wrong.”
Clinton was insistent.
“That is absolutely proved over and over again,” Clinton said.
She was likely referring to a 2002 interview with radio host Howard Stern during which Trump responded “yeah, I guess so” when Stern asked if he supported the invasion of Iraq.
Both Trump and Clinton moved on to other subjects after that back-and-forth, but moderator Lester Holt eventually came back to the issue of Trump’s support for the Iraq War.
“You supported the war in Iraq before the invasion,” Holt said.
Trump cut in.
“I did not support the war in Iraq,” Trump said. “That is mainstream media nonsense put out by her because she, frankly, I think the best person in her campaign is mainstream media.”
Holt said “the record shows otherwise.”
“The record shows that I’m right,” he said.
He gave this explanation:
“When I did an interview with Howard Stern, very lightly, first time anyone’s asked me that, I said, very lightly, ‘I don’t know, maybe, who knows,” essentially. I then did an interview with Neil Cavuto, we talked about the economy is more important, I then spoke to Sean Hannity, which everybody refuses to call Sean Hannity, I had numerous conversations with Sean Hannity at Fox, and Sean Hannity said … ‘You were totally against the war.’ He was for the war. … And that was before the war started.”
Trump also cited a 2004 Esquire interview in which he called the Iraq War a “mess” and said he “would never have handled it that way.”
Fact checkers have generally ruled that Trump did not publicly oppose the Iraq War before it started.
Hillary Clinton: Donald Trump supported the invasion of Iraq.
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