Mike Segar / Reuters
During NBC News's presidential forum on Wednesday night, Republican nominee Donald Trump once again asserted that he was against the Iraq War from the beginning and that he warned of its dire consequences.
This is false — something that went unchallenged by moderator Matt Lauer.
At the forum, Lauer asked Trump what he has done in his life to prepare him to send US men and women into battle.
Trump responded, “Well, I think the main thing is I have great judgment. I have good judgment. I know what's going on. I've called so many of the shots. And I happened to hear Hillary Clinton say that I was not against the war in Iraq. I was totally against the war in Iraq. From a — you can look at Esquire magazine from '04. You can look at before that.”
“And I was against the war in Iraq because I said it's going to totally destabilize the Middle East, which it has,” he added. “It has absolutely been a disastrous war, and by the way, perhaps almost as bad was the way Barack Obama got out. That was a disaster. “
Lauer then moved on to another question.
As BuzzFeed News has reported on extensively, Trump expressed support for invading Iraq in a 2002 interview with Howard Stern and praised the invasion in the days after it commenced. Trump became a vocal opponent of the war later in 2004. He told GQ in 2008 he would get out of Iraq immediately.
Trump supported the Iraq War, praised it as a success in its early days, and then later opposed the war and argued for troops to be withdrawn immediately, which he now criticizes Obama for doing.