Watch Donald Trump Respond to Evidence He Once Supported the Invasion of Iraq

“Don’t forget, I wasn’t a politician.”

Trump said the invasion of Iraq "may have been the worst decision ever made by any president in history."Andrew Harnik/AP

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledged Thursday night that it was possible he supported the invasion of Iraq during a 2002 interview with radio host Howard Stern—despite his campaign’s persistent criticisms of the Iraq War and George W. Bush’s record as commander in chief. The audio was uncovered and published Thursday night by BuzzFeed.

“It was probably the first time I was asked that question,” Trump said during the televised town hall appearance on CNN. “By the time the war started, I was against the war.”

“Don’t forget, I wasn’t a politician,” Trump said. “So people didn’t write everything I said. I was a businessperson.” Watch the clip:

Earlier in the night, Trump attacked George W. Bush for the decision to invade Iraq, saying it “may have been the worst decision ever made by any president in history.” But he refused to repeat his earlier accusations that Bush deliberately lied to the American people.

The town hall came at the end of a big day for Trump, in which Pope Francis questioned Trump’s Christianity because the mogul wants to build a wall on the US-Mexico border. (Trump said on CNN that Mexico may have put the pope up to it.)

It’s the final televised event before South Carolina’s Republican primary on Saturday.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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