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Karl Rove: Trump Didn't Oppose the Iraq War

Image: Karl Rove: Trump Didn't Oppose the Iraq War
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

By    |   Thursday, 18 Feb 2016 02:54 PM

Despite his many claims on the campaign trail, Donald Trump did not oppose the Iraq War before George W. Bush declared it in March 2003, Republican consultant Karl Rove said.

Citing research from PolitiFact, Rove said in his column in The Wall Street Journal Wednesday that Trump "did not publicly oppose the war before it began in March 2003."

He cited a January 2003 interview with Fox News in which Trump said that Bush "has either got to do something or not do something, perhaps, because perhaps we shouldn't be doing it yet and perhaps we should be waiting for the United Nations."

Rove called Trump's statement "incoherent."

"Of course the president was either going to do something or not do something," he said. "And the U.N. did authorize military action by finding Iraq in material breach of the surrender agreement that Saddam [Hussein] signed to end the first Gulf War."

Rove also noted that Trump praised Bush in the same Fox interview, saying that the president was "doing a very good job."

Trump continued, "If you look at the polls, a lot of people are getting a little tired. I think the Iraqi situation is a problem."

However, "that is as far as Mr. Trump went," Rove said, adding that the developer then told Fox that "I think the economy is a much bigger problem as far as the president is concerned."

Rove then cited a March 25, 2003, interview Trump had with The Washington Post in which he said that the war was "a mess," adding: "If they keep fighting it the way they did today, they're going to have a real problem."

He zeroed in on Trump's statement "the way they did today."

"Mr. Trump had clearly heard about that day's bloody, confused fighting in the battle for Nasiriyah, which ended a few days later with a complete U.S. victory," Rove said.

"None of this was a 'loud and clear' warning 'not to go into Iraq,'" he added, citing Trump's assertions during Saturday's debate in South Carolina that he had long opposed the war.

"None of this was a 'loud and strong' declaration that 'you'll destabilize the Middle East,'" Rove continued. "They were instead the ramblings of a half-informed real-estate developer who now wants to sound like Henry Kissinger.

"The whole Trumpian shtick — slandering a president, embracing ridiculous conspiracy theories, pretending to be a foreign-policy prophet — is what we've come to expect," Rove concluded. "If Republican voters hand such an unstable individual their party's nomination, they will do immeasurable harm to it.

"Fortunately, there is still time to stop him."

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Despite his many claims on the campaign trail, Donald Trump did not oppose the Iraq War before George W. Bush declared it in March 2003, Republican consultant Karl Rove said.
karl rove, donald trump, iraq war
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2016-54-18
Thursday, 18 Feb 2016 02:54 PM
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