On The Debate Stage, Trump Lies About His Iraq War Support
At the first Presidential debates, Donald Trump lost his temper and flew into a sharp defense of a question from moderator Lester Holt that he supported the Iraq War. Trump was defiant, calling it “main-stream media nonsense,” and that “the record shows that I am right!”
Trump gave his own timeline of events, saying he did an interview with Howard Stern in 2002 an when asked about the Iraq War he said “very lightly, I don’t know, who knows… essentially.”
Except that is not at all what Trump said. When asked by Stern about the war, Trump’s exact quote was, “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.”
Trump then said he did an interview with Fox New’s Neil Cavuto after the war began where they talked about the economy, but Trump willfully neglected to mention that called the Iraq War a success when he said the invasion “looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint, and I think this is really nothing compared to what you’re going to see after the war is over.”
After more blustering Trump told the media to call Sean Hannity because they had private conversations where Trump opposed the war and Hannity didn’t. So the media did and Sean Hannity, the informal advisor and public supporter to Trump, said this was true.
Erik 100% true. He would watch the show and call after and we argued a lot about it. https://t.co/SwonJFkhP5
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) September 20, 2016
However when asked for actual evidence, Hannity said it was no longer available because they switched syndication and stations.
Hannity: "I’ve had people go through the archives and unfortunately we’ve changed syndicators and stations and it’s hard to get ahold of." https://t.co/odWshIPoQL
— Robert Draper (@DraperRobert) September 25, 2016
Taking someone at their word alone is not strong evidence. It wouldn’t even be admissible in a court of law, they would have it dismissed as hearsay.
What is evidence is the audio recordings that exist of Donald Trump supporting the Iraq War before and after the beginning of the invasion.
We can lay out the timeline of events, and we can see that Trump is indeed lying when he said he was always against the Iraq War.
- September 11, 2002: In an interview on the Howard Stern show, Trump was asked if he supported an invasion of Iraq and responded: “Yeah, I guess so,” and “I wish the first time it was done correctly.”
- January 28, 2003: In an interview with Fox’s Neil Cavuto, Trump said that maybe President George W. Bush should be more focused on the U.S. economy, the media should not be tipping our hat, but did not comment on his support.
- March 20, 2003: The United States unilaterally invaded Iraq.
- March 21, 2003: In an interview with Neil Cavuto, Trump expressed optimism on the economy in the aftermath of the war and said the invasion “looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint, and I think this is really nothing compared to what you’re going to see after the war is over.“
- March 25, 2003: In an interview with the Washington Post trump Trump called the situation “a mess.” This is the very first time Donald Trump publicly disagreed with the Iraq War.
- August, 2004: In an interview with Esquire trump said, “Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we’re in.” This is the point that Donald Trump points to as evidence he was always against the Iraq War from the beginning. From his previous statements of support and this article being 1 year and 4 months after the war began, we can see Trump is not being factual.