Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump raised a ruckus in South Carolina last weekend when he claimed he vehemently opposed the Iraq War. However, a long forgotten audio from the Howard Stern Show in 2002 contradicts Trump’s claims.
Trump swooped into South Carolina ahead of the Republican primary this coming Saturday and immediately began trashing George W. Bush, who is perhaps the most popular politician in the state. Bush was in South Carolina to campaign for his brother, Jeb Bush. Trump took the opportunity to call George W. a liar for getting the nation into a war in Iraq on the basis that there were weapons of mass destruction in the country. He then claimed he had openly opposed the Iraq War from the beginning. But the Stern tape contradicts Trump’s claim.
The Examiner learned today, Feb. 19, that in 2002 Trump made an appearance on Howard Stern’s radio/TV show. The tape of that show has been kept in the archives of the producers, and when it was played it was discovered that Trump told Stern he supported sending the U.S. military into Iraq after the mission was completed in Afghanistan. At least one major news outlet published this part of the Trump interview on Feb. 19. The news story in question stated that the entire audio, however, was first posted late last evening, Feb. 18.
Opposing a war is well within the rights of any American as long as it is done so honestly and with integrity. So is supporting a war. But to support a war and then 14 years later claim you opposed it goes to the heart of one of the most important issues in choosing a president. Is this person trustworthy? Do they tell the truth? Are they upfront with the American people and not just incessantly talking about being upfront? When a candidate makes it a centerpiece of his campaign and debates to refer to his fellow Republican rivals as liars, as Trump has done with Cruz, Bush, and even Rubio at times, it does not help his case when he himself is shown at times to be fast and loose with the truth.
Further, the thing that makes this episode even more troubling is the fact that Trump claimed George W. Bush knew there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but sent the military in to invade the country anyway. Similar things have been said about Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and many others. But the facts show that the entire intelligence community from the U.S., Great Britain, Israel, and others were certain that Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of these weapons, including biological and chemical weapons that he used against his own people.
In 1999 or so, former President Bill Clinton went to the CIA to deliver his farewell remarks after having served two terms in office. During his remarks, Clinton himself stated that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that eventually he would use them against other nations.
So were all of these people across the globe in the various intelligence communities lying? Such a claim is so ludicrous it makes one’s head explode. We know that at one time Saddam had these weapons in large supplies. Where did they go? What happened to them? One of the more credible of the theories concerning this issue is that Saddam solicited and received the help of some of his closest allies around the region to transport these weapons out of Iraq and store them in places such as Syria, Libya, and even northern Pakistan. But no one knows for sure. The one thing of which we can be certain is that George W. Bush told no lie when the entire global intelligence community and his own predecessor, Democrat Bill Clinton, in one accord stated that Saddam had these weapons.
Is Trump’s faux pas enough to disqualify him from getting the Republican nomination if rank and file Republicans want him? Probably not. After all, he is facing people such as Hillary Clinton who never hesitated to skirt the truth when it was to her advantage, and Bernie Sanders whose entire philosophy is based on one big lie — that socialism is a pretty good way to run a country. Thinking people know that socialism in its various forms has never worked, and it will not work today.