At the South Carolina Debate, Donald Trump accused George W. Bush of lying us into the Iraq War by knowningly claiming there were WMD in Iraq when he knew there were none.
While Trump has backed away from that statement slightly saying it might have just been a mistake, though not admitting he has backed away, his debate accusations were clear:
Trump further has claimed that he was against the Iraq War before it started, though no one has been able to find any record of Trump saying so prior to the War starting.
Yet, Trump’s positions on whether Iraq had WMD and whether further military action was needed were on record.
None of the campaigns bothered to check Trump’s own writings, but Andrew Kaczynski of Buzzfeed did, Trump Wrote Iraq WMDs Were Threat Year Before Bush Took Office (emphasis added):
Donald Trump offered a new reason for why, after exhaustive searches, no one has found proof he opposed the Iraq War before it began: People didn’t write everything he said.
The comments are a stark difference from what The Donald said at a Republican debate in September of last year, when said he could provide 25 stories showing his early opposition to the Iraq War….
A detailed search by BuzzFeed News in September (and other news organization in recent days) did not produce evidence at all Trump opposed the war before the March 2003 start.
The week the war started Trump was quoted as saying it was turning into a “mess” but also said the war would positively impact the stock market, causing it “to go up like a rocket.”
Similarly his 2000 book, The America We Deserve Trump noted Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction and targeted Iraq strikes had little impact on their overall capabilities. The Donald said the best course might be against Iraq to “carry the mission to its conclusion.”
Consider Iraq. After each pounding from U.S . warplanes, Iraq has dusted itself off and gone right back to work developing a nuclear arsenal. Six years of tough talk and U.S. fireworks in Baghdad have done little to slow Iraq’s crash program to become a nuclear power. They’ve got missiles capable of flying nine hundred kilometers—more than enough to reach Tel Aviv. They’ve got enriched uranium. All they need is the material for nuclear fission to complete the job, and, according to the Rumsfeld report, we don’t even know for sure if they’ve laid their hands on that yet. That’s what our last aerial assault on Iraq in 1999 was about. Saddam Hussein wouldn’t let UN weapons inspectors examine certain sites where that material might be stored. The result when our bombing was over? We still don’t know what Iraq is up to or whether it has the material to build nuclear weapons. I’m no warmonger. But the fact is, if we decide a strike against Iraq is necessary, it is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion. When we don’t, we have the worst of all worlds: Iraq remains a threat, and now has more incentive than ever to attack us.
In August 2004 Trump turned loud and vocally against the war in an interview with Esquire, more than a year after it started and it was clear after the initial successes an insurgency was developing.
That was 2000. Before Bush took office. Before Bush possibly could have “lied” about Saddam and WMD. And Trump was arguing not only that intervention might be necessary, but that if it happened, it needed to go all the way.
Is there a little wiggle room for Trump to say that he wasn’t lying as to his claims about Iraq and WMD, and the Iraq War. Yes, but very little wiggle room.
Perhaps more research will remove any remaining doubt.
UPDATE 10:45 p.m.: I guess we have our answer, also via Andrew Kaczynski of Buzzfeed posted about an hour ago, In 2002, Donald Trump Said He Supported Invading Iraq:
For months, Donald Trump has claimed that he opposed the Iraq War before the invasion began — as an example of his great judgment on foreign policy issues.
But in a 2002 interview with Howard Stern, Donald Trump said he supported an Iraq invasion.
In the interview, which took place on Sept. 11, 2002, Stern asked Trump directly if he was for invading Iraq.
“Yeah I guess so,” Trump responded. “I wish the first time it was done correctly.”
Trump was confronted with the quote during a Town Hall tonight. He says he changed his mind before the war started. But that’s not what he’s said before. He didn’t say “I was for it before I was against it,” he said he was against it.
Although I don’t have the clip, earlier in the Town Hall he said he always was against the war in 2002, which is what he’s said before:
“I’m the one from 2002, 2003 who said we shouldn’t be doing it,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper early on during a GOP town hall event in Columbia, South Carolina.
However, Cooper later noted to the real estate mogul that, according to Buzzfeed, he actually backed the war during a 2002 interview with radio host Howard Stern.