Donald Trump

Donald Trump Says He Always Opposed the Iraq War. That's a Lie.

Trump likes wars. He just doesn't like losing them.


Jason Keisling

Donald Trump is caught in an enormous lie—if that even matters anymore.

In recent interviews and debates, Trump has steadfastly maintained that he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning—that he knew something his more neoconservative Republican rivals did not. It would be to his credit, if it were true. But it's not.

In an interview with Howard Stern on September 11, 2002, Trump said that he supported a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, according to BuzzFeed News:

Stern asked Trump directly if he was for invading Iraq.

"Yeah I guess so," Trump responded. "I wish the first time it was done correctly."

That Trump would lie about this should come as no surprise. But it's also unsurprising that he is not quite the anti-interventionist he claims to be. While Trump may indeed be the least hawkish of the remaining GOP candidates, his occasionally sane foreign policy pronouncements don't come from a place of principled opposition to reckless foreign entanglements. Trump doesn't oppose wars: He opposes badly managed wars, where badly managed is synonymous with managed by someone other than Trump himself.

Trump says Presidents Bush and Obama were bad at their jobs—and he's right—but his smug confidence in his own ability to win all conflicts should give libertarians serious pause about his foreign policy. I suspect that Trump likes wars, after all—he just doesn't like losing them.