Ahead of the first presidential debate on Monday night, pundits and critics argued that the victor would be determined by whether or not Donald Trump could keep his composure onstage.
"That is a mainstream media nonsense put out by [Hillary Clinton]", Trump said during Monday's debate.
Trump has rigorously defended his record on the Iraq War, stating repeatedly over the course of the campaign that he lways opposed it.
When asked in 2002 by Howard Stern if he favored invading Iraq, Trump said, "Yeah, I guess so". Lost in this kerfuffle is why it matters as much as Hillary Clinton's role in the actual handling of Iraq policy.
First, let's be clear: Trump supported the Iraq War before it began.
In my case, I had not only assumed the worst about the weapons Saddam possessed or could build, but also that the USA could not rely on air power only to destroy those weapons if necessary, that Saddam's arsenal and intentions compelled us to keep a large military force in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and that it was this USA presence in the region that was the taproot of Islamist terrorism. "I was against the war". "And so I can tell you, that's firsthand experience".
Cavuto then proceeded to play the exact same clip that Fox News said vindicated Trump. "He said, 'You used to have fights with me, '" because Sean was in favor of the war", he said. As proof, the network pulled up a January 2003 interview with Fox host Neil Cavuto, which Trump had mentioned as proof of his opposition during the debate. Cavuto played back clips of a January 28, 2003 interview with Trump on "Your World", claiming the tape proved Trump had reservations before the invasion. "They're getting a little bit exhausted of hearing 'We're going in, we're not going in [to Iraq].' Whatever happened to the days of Douglas MacArthur?" The un-bylined post also took umbrage that other fact-checking organizations continually rated the nominee's claims on the issue false. Does anybody really believe that Iraq is going to be a wonderful democracy where people are going to run down to the voting box and gently put in their ballot and the victor is happily going to step up to lead the county? Politico notes in its fact check that Trump was supportive of the invasion as far back as 2002.