At CNN’s presidential town hall in SC, businessman and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump had just finished touting his opposition to invading Iraq in 2002.
In the interview, which took place on September 11, 2002, Stern asked Trump directly if he was for invading Iraq.
“Yeah I guess so”, Trump said, according to the audio clip. “You know, I wish the first time it was done correctly”, an apparent reference to the Gulf War.
Trump has repeatedly said that he should get “points for vision” for opposing the Iraq War from the start, noting repeatedly in stump speeches during his 2016 presidential campaign that he knew early on the war would wreak havoc in the Middle East.
“And remember this”, he said at a GOP debate earlier this month. It was probably the first time anybody asked me that question. The invasion signaled the start of the Iraq War, which ended only in 2011, when the US forces were completely withdrawn from Iraq, except for servicemen at the US Embassy. On Meet the Press, Trump said there weren’t many articles about his opposition because he wasn’t a politician at the time.
But his criticism of former Republican President George W. Bush’s actions has aggravated some in his party, including in SC, which holds its Republican primary on Saturday.
Trump also invoked the 9/11 attacks in response to Jeb Bush’s claim that his brother kept the USA safe, saying “The World Trade Center came down …”
Trump had called the pope’s comments “disgraceful”, but at the CNN forum, he backed off ever so slightly, saying the pontiff’s comments had not been as harsh as he first believed.
However, on Thursday night, Trump said “I don’t like fighting with the Pope, actually. I think that he heard one side of the story, which is probably by the Mexican government”.