Trump on 2002 Iraq War: ‘Could Have’ Said I Supported, But ‘Shortly Thereafter, I Was Really Against It’

Thursday at CNN’s Republican presidential town hall, host Anderson Cooper confronted Donald Trump about his claims that he was always opposed to the war in Iraq with a September 11, 2002,  Howard Stern interview in which Trump said he was in favor of invading Iraq.

Partial transcript as follows:

COOPER: I literally was just handed this. There’s a report out on Buzzfeed, including an audio clip what appears to be you on Howard Stern talking on the radio on September 11, 2002. He asked you, ‘Are you for invading Iraq?’ You said,  ‘Yeah I guess so. You know, I wish it was done correctly the first time.’ Is this accurate? Do you remember saying this?”

TRUMP: No, but I could have said that. Nobody asked me. I wasn’t a politician. This was probably the first time anybody asked me that question. But by the time the war started…

COOPER: This was 2002.

TRUMP: By the time the war started, I was against the war. There are articles, headlines in 2003 and 2004, I was totally against the war…

COOPER: 2004—there’s a Reuters article which you pointed to a lot, and there were a couple comments you made at a Vanity Fair party, that were a couple of weeks after the war began.

TRUMP: Which is OK. A lot of people said it was so early, even if it was a little bit after the war. I was very much against it. That was probably the it — the first time I was asked about the war. He’s a great guy. Howard. Howard Stern…

COOPER: He is a great interviewer

TRUMP That was probably the first time I was asked about it. When you’re in the private sector, you get asked things and you’re not a politician and probably the first time I was asked. By the time the war started, I was against it. Shortly thereafter, I was really against it.

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