Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday again falsely claimed that he opposed the Iraq war from its inception, perpetuating one of his most commonly told lies.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos at the grand opening of his luxury hotel in Washington, Trump again refused to apologize to the parents of a slain Iraq war veteran, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whom Trump attacked following their condemnation of him at the Democratic National Convention in July.
Trump said he had “great respect for the Khan family,” but added that if he’d have been president, Army Capt. Humayun Khan would not have been killed in combat, because Trump opposed the U.S. invasion. Trump made the same claim during the second presidential debate this month.
“If I were president at that time, Capt. Khan would be alive today, George, because I wouldn’t have been in Iraq,” Trump said Wednesday.
“You did support it initially,” Stephanopoulos pointed out.
“Support what?” Trump responded. “Look, let’s get it straight. I was opposed to the war in Iraq. Right from the beginning, I was opposed ... way before the war started.”
“From the beginning, I was opposed to the war in Iraq,” Trump continued.
Trump has repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that he opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. The earliest indication of his opposition to the war is from the spring of 2004, more than a year after the war began.
When Stephanopoulos pointed out Trump’s lie, the GOP nominee insisted that the interviews in which he spoke out against the war occurred “way before the war started.”
Khizr Khan, campaigning for Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, told ABC that Trump’s comments showed that he “totally lacks empathy.”
“This is the most cruel thing you can say to grieving parents, that, ‘If I were there, this would not have happened,’” Khan said. “There’s no sincerity in those remarks. He utters these words, totally oblivious to the understanding of where we are, where we stand, what the values are, and how to be empathetic.”