FACT CHECK: Donald Trump's claim he never discussed Libya intervention

Posted at 11:16 PM, Feb 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-25 23:59:43-05

At the GOP debate in Houston, Donald Trump pushed back at a claim from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that Trump was in favor of the United States helping Libyans oust dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

"He said I was in favor in Libya," Trump said, sounding perplexed. "I never discussed that subject. I was in favor of Libya? We would be so much better off if Gaddafi would be in charge right now."

Oh, Trump discussed it.

And thanks to BuzzFeed, we have the video. (All the hat tips to Andrew Kaczynski.)

It comes from 2011, on Trump’s video blog.

"I can’t believe what our country is doing," Trump said, according to a BuzzFeed transcript. "Gaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we’re sitting around we have soldiers all have the Middle East, and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage and that’s what it is: It’s a carnage."

Trump continued.

"You talk about things that have happened in history; this could be one of the worst," Trump said. "Now we should go in, we should stop this guy, which would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it, and save these lives. This is absolutely nuts. We don’t want to get involved and you’re gonna end up with something like you’ve never seen before."

And then ...

"But we have go in to save these lives; these people are being slaughtered like animals," Trump said. "It’s horrible what’s going on; it has to be stopped. We should do on a humanitarian basis, immediately go into Libya, knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively, and save the lives."

The U.S. military, working with NATO, spent about $2 billion and several months backing the Libyan uprising against Gaddafi, who had held power for decades. The uprising -- part of the Arab Spring -- toppled Gaddafi in August 2011, and rebel forces killed him the following October. 

Our ruling:
Trump tried to claim during the Houston debate that he never discussed supporting U.S. intervention in Libya. That’s patently inaccurate, as Trump’s own words show. This claim rates Pants on Fire!