Donald Trump was confronted on statements he made in support of invading Iraq and the lack evidence of his opposition to the war from the start – a claim Trump continues to make despite being rated false widely by fact-checkers.
"The war in Iraq was perhaps the worst decision ever made in this country's history," said Trump. "It totally destabilized the Middle East, it was a total disaster," Trump said Thursday evening on Fox News' Special Report. "It was made by Bush."
"I criticized his decision to go into Iraq," added Trump.
"Now on that, I just want to clear that up," asked host Bret Baier. "You've come out with articles, but there's audio of you before there were..."
"No, there isn't, no, there isn't," Trump replied.
"There's a BuzzFeed piece," Baier interjects, citing an article on BuzzFeed chronicling statements Trump made in support of Iraq regime change in the late '90s and 2000, and telling Howard Stern he tepidly supported invading the country in 2002.
"Yes," Trump said. "I'm talking to Howard Stern, weeks before, the first time anybody had ever asked. And don't forget, I was a civilian. The first time anyone ever asked me about the war, about should we go in, because it was a question, are we going in? And I said very weakly, well, blah, blah, blah, yes, I guess."
Baier then cited Trump on the first day of the war in 2003 saying it looked like "a tremendous success from a military standpoint," and predicting the war would continue to be great for Wall Street.
"What I said is it was a success, because they thought it was a success," said Trump. "But before that, I said they shouldn't go in. And then all during for many years, I said this war is a huge mistake. In fact, in 2003, 2004, they did an article, a big article, in one of the magazines, and Reuters did an article going very critical of the war, get out, it's a mistake."
The Reuters article Trump cited about him opposing war came out 17 months after the war started.