During Wednesday’s presidential debate, Donald Trump said he never supported the invasion of Iraq and Hillary Clinton told Americans to Google “Donald Trump Iraq.”
Hillary Clinton revealed that Donald Trump continued to give the impression that he never supported the Iraqi war to score political points. According to the New York Times, Hillary Clinton told voters to fact-check the assertion that he supported the invasion right from the beginning by going to Google.
“I just want everybody to go Google it. Google, ‘Donald Trump Iraq.’ And you will see the dozens of sources which verify that he was for the invasion of Iraq. And you will hear the audio of him saying it.”
You don’t have to Google “Donald Trump - Iraq,” just click this https://t.co/xDHGpSWYBw— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 20, 2016
After her comments, online searches spiked according to data from Google Trends. “Donald Trump Iraq” was a phrase searched more significantly than any other topic discussed by the two political rivals.
This is not the first time that the invasion of Iraq would pose to be a contentious topic during the presidential debates. In the first debate in September, Trump revealed that he vehemently opposed the war. In the second debate, which was held in October, Hillary Clinton pointed out that the businessman-turned-politician had supported the war even before it began.
Clinton asked debate viewers to Google "Donald Trump Iraq" last night. It worked: off the chart search trend compared to other hot topics. pic.twitter.com/ysJ6puJaZ1— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) October 20, 2016
The 68-year-old Democratic Party hopeful has pointed out several times that it is on record that Donald Trump supported the war. Hillary Clinton is referring to a 2002 interview Trump did with Howard Stern, six months before American forces launched a military offensive against Iraq. The radio show host had asked Trump if he was in support of the war and the New York businessman countered “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.”
However, the 70-year-old has consistently denied that he supported the war since the debates started.
“I opposed going in. And I did oppose it, despite the media saying no, yes, no. I opposed going in.”
Donald Trump has a confusing and lengthy history over his stance over the Iraq war. In one of his campaign rallies, he addressed his stance against the war referencing an August, 2004, Esquire article where he objected the war. In the interview, Trump had called the war a mess that was handled badly.
“Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we’re in. I would never have handled it that way. Does anybody really believe that Iraq is going to be a wonderful democracy where people are going to run down to the voting box — and the winner is happily going to step up to lead the country? Two minutes after we leave, there’s going to be a revolution, and the meanest, toughest, smartest most vicious guy will take over.”
The editor of Esquire has since come out to say that Trump was misrepresenting the facts.
In November 2004, Donald Trump, while on CNN’s Larry King Live, had reiterated that going into Iraq was a bad decision.
Donald Trump has referenced these two periods as proof that he never, at any point, showed support for the Iraqi war, accusing the media of being dishonest and spinning a web of lies.
Trump said the Howard Stern statement was the first time someone had asked him about the Iraq situation. He said he showed an initial support of the war because he did not have all the facts. However, when he had a stronger grasp of the issues, he gave subsequent statements why it was not right for America to invade the oil-rich nation.
The 70-year-old said if he had been in congress at the advent of the invasion, he would have taken a stronger stand by casting a vote of opposition. Trump said he was a private citizen who had no access to briefings or covert intelligence files like his political rival, Hillary Clinton, and admitted that he backtracked on his initial stance when he got more information about the war.
[Featured Image by Mark Ralston/AP Images]