“No”, Trump responded. “I could have said that”.
Mr Trump’s comments on Thursday came after a participant at the CNN event said he was “stung” when the real estate mogul in a recent Republican debate accused Bush of lying about the reasons to go to war.
Trump has repeatedly pointed to an interview he gave to Esquire Magazine in 2004, more than a year after the US had already launched its military assault in Iraq, which was later also published in part by Reuters news service.
Less than an hour after the story broke online, Trump responded during a CNN town hall: “By the time the war started, I was against the war”.
In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Mr Trump was outspoken about his tough polices towards “outlaw” states such as Iraq. “Yeah, I guess so”, Trump told Stern when asked if he was in favor of an Iraq invasion.
Referring to former President Jimmy Carter’s promise to Americans that “I will never lie to you”, Garrett asked the billionaire businessman: “Is that a standard that Donald Trump as president would be comfortable with?”
Trump said that the pontiff was a “wonderful guy”, adding that he would meet with the Pope “anytime he wants”. “I must tell you – I would be very, very satisfied just to say ‘I don’t lie'”. “But I understood what she was saying”, Trump noted.
Donald Trump said Thursday he “may have” signaled in a September 2002 interview with Howard Stern that he was in favor of invading Iraq. “But I said it, and I said it loud and clear, ‘You’ll destabilize the Middle East.’ That’s exactly what happened”. “By the time the war started, I was against it, and shortly after, I was really against it”, he said.
“I think in these campaigns people ought to speak their mind”.
In addition, Trump claimed he was against the war in Iraq in 2002 before the invasion in 2003.