Recent statements by Donald Trump have been fact-checked but they are not passing muster. Sometimes people remember things the way they think they happened, not necessarily how they actually happened. Perhaps that is the case here.
During the last debate, Donald Trump railed against George Bush for going into Iraq, which he says he was vehemently opposed to. He also blamed Bush for 9/11.
Last night during a commercial break, CNN’s Anderson Cooper handed Trump a piece of paper pointing to a Buzzfeed story that has him weakly supporting the war in Iraq on air with Howard Stern in 2002.
He said this on 9/11/02.
Stern: Are you for invading Iraq?
Trump: Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.
This is the exchange:
When asked about it by Anderson Cooper, he said “I wasn’t a politician…it was probably the first time I was asked.”
The Vanity Fair article Cooper asked Trump about was from late March 2003, shortly after the start of the war.
This is the excerpt which mentions Trump as quoted by The Washington Post:
Donald Trump, with Amazonian beauty Melania Knauss at his side, pronounces on the war and the stock market: “If they keep fighting it the way they did today, they’re going to have a real problem.”
Looking as pensive as a “Nightline” talking head, The Washington post wrote, the Donald concludes, “The war’s a mess,” before sweeping off into the crowd.
That was a few days after the war began and is simply an offhanded comment. No other comments have been found but the absence of evidence doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
During one debate, he clearly stated he was opposed prior to the war in March 20 2003:
Not only a disgrace, it’s a disgrace and an embarrassment. But very important, who are we fighting with? Who are we fighting for? What are we doing? We have to rebuild our country. But we have to — I’m the only one on this stage that said: “Do not go into Iraq. Do not attack Iraq.” Nobody else on this stage said that. And I said it loud and strong. And I was in the private sector. I wasn’t a politician, fortunately.
But I said it, and I said it loud and clear, “You’ll destabilize the Middle East.” That’s exactly what happened.
Go to about 16:10:
This sort of thing has happened before.
During the January Fox Business debate, moderator Neil Cavuto asked Donald Trump about a quote he had given The New York Times, only for Trump to deny he had ever said it.
“Last week, The New York Times editorial board quoted you as saying that you would impose ‘up to 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods…’” Cavuto began.
“That’s wrong,” Trump cut in. “They were wrong. It’s The New York Times, they are always wrong.”
“What I said to The New York Times, is that we have great power, economic power over China and if we wanted to use that and the amount — where the 45 percent comes in, that would be the amount they saw their devaluations that we should get. That we should get,” Trump told a very confused Cavuto.
The New York Times then released the audio from the interview in which he said he would levy a 45% tariff on China.
“I love free trade, but it’s gotta be reasonably fair. I would do a tax. And let me tell you what the tax should be, the tax should be 45 percent. That would be a tax that would be an equivalent to some of the kind of devaluations that they’ve done. They cannot believe that we haven’t done this yet.”
He was asked about it again during an interview on Fox News and said, “he didn’t exactly say that.”
Listen to the NY Times audio of the interview in which he makes the offhanded comment at the end: