5 Major Contradictions or All-Out Fibs in Donald Trump's Big Foreign Policy Speech

5 Major Contradictions or All-Out Fibs in Donald Trump's Big Foreign Policy Speech
Source: AP
Source: AP

Donald Trump laid out his plan to combat the spread of terrorism on Monday during a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, that was riddled with revisionist history and contradictory statements.

Throughout the speech, Trump touted his opposition to Iraq and regime change missions in Libya and Egypt.

However, Trump is on record having supported all three policies.

Here are the three times in his Monday speech that Trump sought to revise well-documented comments he's made in the past:

The Iraq War

Trump continued to push his statement that he did not support President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003, telling the crowd of about 200 people gathered for his speech that he was "an opponent of the Iraq War from the beginning — a major difference between me and my opponent."

Fact checkers, like PolitiFact, have said Trump "overstates" his opposition to the invasion.

In 2002, radio host Howard Stern asked Trump whether he supported the invasion.

"Yeah, I guess so," Trump told Stern, according to a recording unearthed by BuzzFeed. "I wish the first time it was done correctly."

Pulling out of Iraq

In his speech, Trump also said President Barack Obama's decision to pull out of Iraq led to the rise of ISIS. 

"I have been just as clear in saying what a catastrophic mistake Hillary Clinton and President Obama made with the reckless way in which they pulled out," Trump said Monday of the draw down of troops in Iraq.

However in a 2008 interview with British GQ — also dredged up by BuzzFeed — Trump said the complete opposite.

"First, I'd get out of Iraq right now," Trump in the interview. "And by the way, I am the greatest hawk who ever lived, a far greater hawk even than Bush. I am the most militant military human being who ever lived. I'd rebuild our military arsenal, and make sure we had the finest weapons in the world. Because countries such as Russia have no respect for us, they laugh at us. Look at what happened in Georgia, a place we were supposed to be protecting."

On regime change in Libya and Egypt

Trump also claimed in his speech that President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton "should have never attempted to build a democracy in Libya, to push for immediate regime change in Syria, or support the overthrow of [Hosni] Mubarak in Egypt."

However, Trump supported both the ouster of Muammar al-Gaddafi in Libya and Mubarak in Egypt.

On invading Libya and overthrowing Gaddafi, Trump said on Fox News that Gaddafi was "killing thousands of people" and Obama was not bringing troops stationed in the Middle East "to stop this horrible carnage."

On Egypt, he told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren in 2011, "It's a good thing they got [Mubarak] out."

LGBTQ rights

Aside from those three contradictions, Trump also laid out a plan in which he would deny entry to immigrants who do not support "gay rights," while later saying America should work with Russia — which has a history of repressive policies toward its LGBTQ citizens.

"Instead of condemning the oppression of women and gays in many Muslim nations, and the systematic violations of human rights, or the financing of global terrorism, President Obama tried to draw an equivalency between our human rights record and theirs," Trump said in his Monday speech, referencing a speech Obama delivered in Cairo in 2009.

Later in the speech, Trump said America should "find common ground with Russia in the fight against ISIS," Trump said.

NATO

After months of bashing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — an alliance between the United States, Canada and a number of European countries formed to help protect the European Union — Trump said Monday he now hopes to work with the military alliance. 

Trump has called NATO "obsolete," and as recently as a few weeks ago he had set conditions for coming to the aid of NATO countries if they should come under attack.

But Monday, Trump said he now wants to "work closely with NATO."

"I had previously said that NATO was obsolete because it failed to deal adequately with terrorism; since my comments they have changed their policy and now have a new division focused on terror threats," Trump said.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

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