Donald Trump on Thursday went to great lengths to argue that he had never been in favor of the war on Iraq, telling an audience at a campaign stop in Ohio that had he been a member of Congress, he would have gone against President George W. Bush and voted down a resolution authorizing the use of U.S. military force.
“I opposed going in – and I did oppose it,” Trump said, pointing his finger for emphasis.
“Despite the media saying, ‘no, yes, no,’ I opposed going in,” Trump added.
“I said ‘the war is a mess’ on television, somewhere,” Trump added.
But some of Trump’s explanations didn’t seem to hold water, like one where he said he told Esquire Magazine that he was against the war at start.
But the interview was some 17 months after the war began.
Trump: My August 2004 statement in Esquire was 'at the very beginning of the Iraq war.' US invaded in March 2003.
Trump also said that if he had been in Congress at the time, he would have voted against the resolution allowing for the use of force in Iraq – but that was voted on in October of 2002, well before some of his statements that raised questions about the war.
What’s more – only 6 Republicans in the House voted against that resolution, which was seen as a test of support for President George W. Bush at the time.
Trump’s back-and-forth on Iraq has certainly been noticed in the news media, as various reports on his Ohio remarks weighed in with what he has said in the past.
“Trump Insists, Falsely, that He Opposed Iraq War,” the Associated Press headlined.
“Trump tries to prove he was against the Iraq War,” said Politico.
“Trump tries to convince public that he opposed Iraq War,” reported CNN.
Why is the Iraq War a big deal? It’s because Trump wants to show that he was on the other side from Hillary Clinton – as Trump argues she is “trigger-happy” – more than ready to send U.S. troops into a war – in this case a war that Trump says he opposed.