Trump Insists, Falsely, That He Opposed Iraq War During Education Speech in Cleveland | NBC Southern California
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

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Trump Insists, Falsely, That He Opposed Iraq War During Education Speech in Cleveland

Trump cited an Esquire magazine interview, published more than a year after the Iraq war began, to bolster his discredited claim



    FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Fredericksburg, Va.

    Donald Trump is insisting he opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning, even though fact checkers have repeatedly said that claim is false.

    "I opposed going in and I did oppose it. Despite the media saying, 'No, yes, no,' I opposed going in," Trump said Thursday before a speech on education while visiting a charter school in Ohio.

    Speaking at Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy, the Republican presidential nominee said that if he had been in Congress at the time, he would have voted against authorizing the military conflict.

    His position on the war is coming under increasing scrutiny as he attacks Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton for voting to authorize the war while she was in the Senate.

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    In 2002, Radio host Howard Stern asked Trump if he supported the looming invasion. Trump responded, "Yeah, I guess so."

    He attempted to clarify his position on Iraq Thursday, saying the "Howard statement was long before and it was the first time anybody ever asked me about Iraq. I said, I don't know. I was very, very -- but, that was superseded because before the war, much closer to the war, I gave statements that we shouldn't go in."

    During the "Commander-in-Chief Forum" hosted by NBC News Wednesday, Trump asserted he was "always against the war in Iraq" and cited comments he made in an Esquire magazine interview to bolster his discredited claim. The businessman again Thursday referenced the Aug. 2004 profile by Esquire, which was published more than a year after the invasion of Baghdad.

    On Thursday, Esquire added an editor's note to the article, rebuffing Trumps claims.

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    "During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed to have been against the Iraq War from the beginning, and he has cited this story as proof. The Iraq War began in March 2003, more than a year before this story ran, thus nullifying Trump's timeline," Esquire wrote.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.