From his Mar-a-Lago mansion on Palm Beach, the GOP front-runner Donald Trump joined Chuck Todd on ‘Meet The Press’ Sunday morning on NBC following the most-watched GOP debate of the year Saturday night in South Carolina.
Trump and Todd discussed the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and what it means going forward, as well as Trump’s staunch position on the war in Iraq, in which he has highly criticized former President George W. Bush, brother of the former Florida governor and fellow GOP contender for the Republican nomination, Jeb Bush.
The NBC host brought up Trump’s positions on the Iraq War Sunday morning, something the billionaire businessman attacked former Governor Bush over in Saturday night’s debate.
“How do you know [President George Bush] lied about WMD [weapons of mass destruction in Iraq],” Todd asked in the interview. “I think that people knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction. I think they wanted to go in there,” Trump insisted. He goes on to add, “…certainly the war in Iraq was a disaster. It was a mistake. We went into Iraq, lost thousands of lives, it cost trillions of dollars.”
Despite Trump’s insistence, BuzzFeed News points out Trump wrote about weapons of mass destruction in his book published in 2000, The America We Deserve.
“Do you believe that George W. Bush kept America safe,” Todd asked. “No, because the World Trade Center was knocked down,” Trump answered. “I wish he did. I have nothing against him. I don’t know him. I don’t even think I’ve met him,” Trump admitted.
The businessman goes on to explain why he continues to attack the younger Bush on the issue. “When Jeb Bush gets up and says, ‘My brother kept America safe’… How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center, during his time in office, came down,” Trump told Todd. “I was there. I lost many, many friends in that tragedy. That was the worst tragedy in the history of this country. Worse than Pearl Harbor.”
The Sunday morning host also asked Trump about his 2008 comments where he implied former President Bush should be impeached over the invasion of Iraq.
In the interview, Todd points out how widely popular the elder Bush remains in South Carolina where the primary election will take place on Saturday. There, Trump leads in the latest poll by 22 points.
“We need a conservative person,” Trump said, referring to the next appointed Supreme Court Justice. “Certainly we have some great people. We lost one of the greats. I’d like to have the person tailored to be just like Justice Scalia.”
Despite Republicans quickly jumping to demand the next Supreme Court justice not be appointed until after the presidential election, President Obama stated in an address Saturday night that he plans “to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time."
According to analysis by The New York Times, no presidential appointment to the Supreme Court has ever taken longer than 125 days since President Woodrow Wilson appointed Louis Brandeis on January 29, 1916. President Obama currently has 340 days left in his presidency.
— NYT Graphics (@nytgraphics) February 14, 2016