AJ Delgado ^ | February 18, 2016 | AJ Delgado
Trump recently claimed he opposed the Iraq War in 2003 and “before that.”
Buzzfeed’s Andrew K (a tremendous reporter, with terrific scoops) did some digging, though, and found audio of Trump appearing on the Howard Stern show on September 11, 2002. It’s a solid find by Andrew but it’s being used by Trump critics to apparently demonstrate Trump is a ‘liar’ who didn’t, in fact, oppose the Iraq War.
In 2002, Donald Trump Said He Supported Invading Iraq
“Are you for invading Iraq?” Howard Stern asked him, and Trump answered, “Yeah, I guess so.”
I don’t see, however, how this audio negates Trump’s alleged opposition to the war. If anything, it supports the notion that Trump was against the war. Why?
1. For starters, Trump’s “Yeah, I guess so…” isn’t exactly an enthusiastic, ringing endorsement of the war plans. One can almost hear his shoulders shrugging. Let’s just say that’s not what an Iraq War supporter sounded like in 2002.
2. It’s September 2002 — months before the war began the following year. At that time, I recall opinions (my own included) wavered week to week. Wildly varying information and various Bush pitches were emerging constantly, and opinions on whether to invade — including even what the ‘invasion/war’ would actually entail — were all over the place. So, yes, one could say “Sure, let’s go over there” one week and easily turn around and oppose it the following week, or vice versa. Thus, it’s possibly Trump could go on a show and say “Yeah, I guess so” regarding plans to invade but then reconsider — which would make his “I opposed the war” truthful.
(Excerpt) Read more at aj-delgado.com ...
AJ Delgado is Hispanic and a proud Trump supporter. She addressed the initial Buzzfeed article and then addressed Trump's comments today where he acknowledged the Buzzfeed article but went on to explain, using an appearance on Neil Cavuto, that he was against the war prior. The media has been thrashing Trump since the question last night, and they didn't buy his explanation today - still saying he's lying.
AJ has put forth a good case by saying the Stern interview was on 9/11 (a year later), months before the war, opinions were varied, there was a lot of support in New York circles, and his support of the war was hardly enthusiastic. His comments on Cavuto months before the war indicate that he believed Bush would have to make a decision but thought he would be better off dealing with domestic matters.
Now AJ upgraded her post to say that Andrew from Buzzfeed found audio from a day after the war began when he said about the war that "it looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint." CNN journalist Jeremy Diamond, who is an embed covering the Trump campaign, asked Trump about this, and Trump said that he knew what he meant. Jeremy of course protested, but I know what he meant. He said it looked like a success militarily. You don't have to endorse or support the war to complement the military and think they were successful.
Five days after the war, he called it "a mess" at a Vanity Fair Party. If you were enthusiastically for it, you wouldn't be calling it "a mess" five days in. Five months after it started, he told Joe Scarborough (now a hater), "It wasn't a mistake to fight terrorism and fight it hard, and I guess maybe if I had to do it, I would have fought terrorism but not necessarily Iraq." Within a year of the war starting, Trump was virulently against it in interviews, at a time when there was still a lot of support.
AJ then posted Tweets of people's comments to this piece - Tweets backing Trump up. Someone said that it was hardly a serious interview with Stern considering the prior question from Stern was, "Is your wife naked right now?" Someone noted that Trump expressed regret it wasn't done the right way the first time after he said, "Yeah, I guess so" to Stern. Someone pointed out it was the anniversary of September 11th, a time when people were still upset and angry, not really a time to come out against a war. Another said that many people were for the war at the time, even the NYT. A person remarked that there was no war because Bush didn't even address the UN yet. A good question was posited by another person who asked if he supported the war, why was there nothing out there indicating as such? No interviews where Trump is arguing for the the war, making a case for it with reasons, and enthusiastic are out there.
People Tweeted that Sean Hannity and Roger Stone (who was working for Trump) both said that in private he had expressed opposition to the war. Hannity said they "battled" over it. AJ was able to find a couple video clips of Hannity talking about that on the air. Trump should get Sean Hannity and Roger Stone to publicly vouch for him on this, despite the fact the media will try to discount them because they are Trump supporters.