August 13, 2015
By Jonathan D. Salant
Donald Trump on the Fox News Channel program “Hannity.”
WASHINGTON — Businessman Donald Trump said Iran is as powerful as it is today because President George W. Bush’s war on Iraq took out its main adversary.
Trump, speaking on the Fox News Channel “Hannity,” said he opposed Bush’s decision to go to war against Iraq based on claims that the country had weapons of mass destruction. The weapons were never found, and Bush’s brother and fellow GOP presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, said in May that “knowing what we know now I would not have engaged–I would not have gone into Iraq.”
Trump said that he warned before the 2003 invasion that the move would destabilize the Middle East.
“Iraq and Iran were the same,” Trump said. “We knocked off one of them. Iran is taking over the world. If Iran was a stock, buy it.”
Trump said he opposed the agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program for at least 10 years in exchange for relaxing economic sanctions. “The deal is already a disaster,” he said.
The Republican front-runner said the U.S. should capture the oil fields that now fund the Islamic State, thus taking away the main source of funding for the terrorist organization.
“We have to go in by force,” Trump said. “We have to take the oil.”
Trump’s interview with host Sean Hannity was aired over two days on the Fox cable news channel. His appearances followed a conversation between him and Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes after Trump spent days attacking Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly over what he felt were her unfair questions at last week’s Republican presidential debate.