MSNBC's Morning Joe Lets Trump Falsely Claim He Opposed Libya Intervention And Iraq War

Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski allowed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to falsely claim he opposed the 2003 Iraq War and 2011 military intervention in Libya. When Scarborough asked if Trump would have not gone into Libya, Trump said, “I would have stayed out of Libya, yeah. I would have stayed out of Iraq too.” Scarborough later parroted back Trump’s claims that he wouldn’t have gone into Libya or Iraq, calling Trump’s foreign policy “pretty consistent.” However, Trump in 2011 voiced support for the intervention, saying “we should go in, we should stop [Qaddafi].” And Trump said in 2002 he supported military intervention in Iraq, a claim media outlets have repeatedly allowed Trump to repeat.

UPDATE: Later in the broadcast, Scarborough said that after his interview the Clinton campaign pointed out to him that Trump supported the Libyan intervention at the time.

From the May 20 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

Video file

DONALD TRUMP: And it's sort of interesting because I talk about Hillary's bad judgment. I actually said that this morning to a lot of followers. And a lot of people that agree with me. But she's got horrible judgment. And you look at what's going on and --

JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): What's the worst example of her -- you say she has horrible judgment. 

TRUMP: Well I can tell you a lot of examples -- 

SCARBOROUGH: Just give me one.

TRUMP: -- but one of them is Libya. Libya was an example. Libya is a disaster. And by the way, just in case you have any questions, right now ISIS has taken the oil from Libya. So we knock out Libya and you knock out Qaddafi and she thinks we did a great job. And it's just more destabilization. It's a total disaster. 

SCARBOROUGH: Would you have not gone into Libya?

TRUMP: And ISIS has the oil. 

SCARBOROUGH: Would you have stayed out of Libya? 

TRUMP: I would have stayed out of Libya, yeah. I would have stayed out of Iraq too. 

SCARBOROUGH: And will you stay out of Syria? 

TRUMP: I would have stayed out of Syria and I wouldn't have fought so much for Assad, against Assad because I thought that was a whole thing. 


SCARBOROUGH: So there are a lot of people that say you have an inconsistent foreign policy, but it sounds pretty consistent here.  As far as what you’ve just said this morning, you wouldn’t have gone into Libya.

TRUMP: Right.

SCARBOROUGH: You’ve said you wouldn’t go into Iraq,

TRUMP: Right.

SCARBOROUGH: You say you wouldn’t go into Syria. You wouldn’t have fought Assad.

TRUMP: But I would go after ISIS. Big league.


SCARBOROUGH: What your interest is though, militarily you'd tell the generals, “Go after ISIS, but we're not interested in replacing Assad.”

TRUMP: I would say knock the hell out of ISIS, which we could have done originally. Knock the hell -- look, we shouldn't have been in Iraq. Bad decision. 


SCARBOROUGH: So earlier we talked to Donald Trump. And he had said that he would have never gone into Libya. The Clinton campaign has fired out a response to that and I'm going to have you report that. I will say, here's from 2011. “I can't believe what our country is doing,” Trump said, according to a BuzzFeed transcript. “Qaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we're sitting around. We have soldiers all over the Middle East and not bringing them to stop this horrible carnage. And that's what it is. It's carnage.” And then he goes on and talks about how it's absolutely nuts. “We don't want to get involved and you're going to end up with something like you've never seen before.” So very clearly in favor of the Libya invasion.

KASIE HUNT: Yeah and he says, quote, “We should go, we should stop this guy.” And of course earlier on the show he said “I would have stayed out of Libya.” So a little bit of a disconnect there.