In a tense exchange, the hosts of “Fox & Friends” grilled Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Wednesday about his comments criticising former President George W. Bush for the 9/11 terror attacks and the Iraq War.
Trump was initially shown a clip of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) saying that, although Trump was a “very good friend,” he thought that “what [Trump] said about President Bush is absolutely wrong.”
Giuliani’s criticism came after Trump told former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) at a debate Saturday night that the “World Trade Center came down during” his brother’s presidency. When Trump was about Giuliani’s comments, he doubled down on his criticism.
“I don’t care about his comments,” Trump said of Giuliani, who was mayor during the attacks.
Finally, I had to say, “Look, excuse me, but the World Trade Center came down during his reign, let’s call it.” … And everybody said, “Oh, we never thought of that.” … The fact is he got a free pass because after the World Trade Center came down, we didn’t have an attack. But the World Trade Center was the single biggest attack in the history of our country — bigger than Pearl Harbour because it was an attack on civilians.
“Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade came to the former president’s defence.
“How is he supposed to stop that?” Kilmeade asked. “How is he supposed to find random people throughout the country, nine months into the job, that are going to be doing something we couldn’t even possibly imagine, that the CIA didn’t anticipate, nor did anyone specifically brief him on?”
Trump pointed out that US agencies did have intelligence about the 9/11 attackers before the plot was carried out.
“Well, Brian, if you go back and read the documents and read the papers and read the reports, you’re going to see that the CIA had information and so did the NSA and so did other agencies and nobody was talking to each other,” he said
“They all hated each other at the top,” Trump added. “There was tremendous disorganization. And had they gotten together, they would have been able to piece it together.”
Host Ainsley Earhardt then asked Trump if it was wise for him to criticise George W. Bush, as the former president is relatively popular in South Carolina, which is holding its Republican primary this weekend.
Kilmeade soon asked Trump who bombed Beirut — a likely reference to the 1983 bombing of buildings housing US military forces. Trump turned the conversation back to Iraq.
“Where were the weapons of mass destruction, Brian?” Trump asked Kilmeade.
Again, Kilmeade defended the former president:
[Former Secretary of State] Madeleine Albright said they were there, [former President] Bill Clinton said they were there, [former French President] Jacques Chirac said they were there, the Portuguese prime minster said they were there, [former Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak said they were there.
Trump retorted: “”Well, they weren’t there, they didn’t find them. They found nothing. Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi — take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents.”
Host Steve Doocy jumped into the fray. He brought the conversation back to immigration by pointing out that a “number of people in this country” have overstayed their visas. Trump said if his proposed policies had been in effect, the 9/11 attackers would not have been able to get into the US.
“In nine months you would have swept up every person overstaying their visa?” Doocy asked incredulously.
“Those people would not have been in the country had my policies been intact,” Trump replied.
You can watch the full exchange below:
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