Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump argued that “I think I could have stopped it” in reference to the September 11th terrorist attacks, “I would have taken him [Osama bin Laden] out,” and that “Iraq…turned out not to be the right country, because they didn’t have weapons of mass destruction” on Tuesday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.
Trump said he respects that Jeb is sticking up for his brother, but “you can’t say he kept our country safe, because he was president. You know, as Truman said, ‘The buck stops here.’ So, he was president, and if you look at my book, which was written a couple of years prior to the attack, I actually mentioned the name of Osama bin Laden, that he’s a bad terrorist and we have to do something about it, and when one of your competitors heard about it today, they said, whoa, whoa, this is amazing. Trump actually predicted it, because I actually said in the book that something would happen. Nobody talks about it, but I actually talk about the name Osama bin Laden.”
Hannity then displayed two lines from Trump’s 2000 book “The America We Deserve” that “I really am convinced we’re in danger of the sort of terrorist attacks that will make the bombing of the Trade Center look like kids playing with firecrackers. No sensible analyst rejects this possibility, and plenty of them, like me, are not wondering if but when it will happen.” “One day we’re told that a shadowy figure with no fixed address named Osama bin-Laden is public enemy number one, and U.S. jetfighters lay waste to his camp in Afghanistan. He escapes back under some rock, and a few news cycles later it’s on to a new enemy and new crisis.”
Trump stated, “I mean, I know what’s happening, Sean. I know what’s going on. I think I could have stopped it, because I have very tough illegal immigration policies, and people aren’t coming into this country unless they’re vetted and vetted properly. if you look at what happened, George Tenet, who was the head of the CIA. First of all, the CIA, and the FBI, and everybody else, they weren’t talking with each other because they weren’t getting along. That’s leadership. You have to get everybody to get along. Second of all, George Tenet predicted an attack. George Tenet said there’s going to be an attack. They should have done something about it. So, I’m not blaming anybody, and this started very innocently when I said, you know, to somebody, frankly, that didn’t really matter, I said, listen, the World Trade Center came down during — you know, there’s nothing safe when the World Trade Center was attacked and came down during his reign. Well, that’s not safe, because he said — Jeb said our country was safe. Well, that’s not the case, and then if you want to go a little further, he then attacked Iraq, which turned out not to be the right country, because they didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, and, by the way, the terrorists, sent their families home to Saudi Arabia. They didn’t send them home to Iraq, they sent them home to Saudi Arabia, which is another thing for people to think about.”
After Hannity pushed back that Saddam Hussein did have WMDs, Trump responded, “Well, you know, by the way — but they never found them. You’re right, but they never found them.”
Trump re-iterated his prior criticisms of the Iraq War before stating that before the first Gulf War, “We should have said [to Kuwait] we want 50% of everything you make for the next 50 years, or permanently, and you know what, they would have agreed to it. We gave it back for nothing. Why did we do that?
When asked if President Bill Clinton bears responsibility for 9/11 for not taking out bin Laden, Trump stated, “Well, he made a mistake, but I will tell you that if I were there, I would have taken him out. Now, i wrote about him in my book. … and Clinton made a mistake, and frankly, Bush should have taken him out. Somebody should have taken him out. I think I would have, but I think my immigration policies would have gone a long way to helping us also, Sean.”
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