Why wasn’t Hillary Clinton grilled on Iraq when she was a senator who voted for it?
To expect to see Hillary Clinton grilled on any issue is probably unrealistic. But to see Donald Trump grilled on his position on the Iraq War while Hillary got to stand there and smirk was a travesty.
In a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto used the treatment of Trump on this issue as evidence that so-called “fact-checking” is a corruption of journalism.
What Trump actually said on Sept. 11, 2002, when Stern asked him if he favored an invasion, was: “Yeah, I guess so.” That was an affirmative statement, but a highly equivocal one. Is it fair or accurate to characterize it as sufficient to establish that Trump was a “supporter”? In our opinion, no. He might well have had second thoughts immediately after getting off the air with Stern.
He certainly had second thoughts in the ensuing months, and he came to oppose the invasion long before Mrs. Clinton did. Even FactCheck.org was unable to come up with any other Trump statement supportive of the decision to go to war. By December 2003, according to the site’s timeline, Trump was observing (in an interview with Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto) that “a lot of people” were “questioning the whole concept of going in, in the first place.” Five years later, according to PolitiFact.com, Trump was calling for President Bush’s impeachment because, as he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “he got us into the war with lies.”
More importantly, however, Donald Trump had very limited access to accurate information about the situation in the Mideast. Hillary Clinton, as a Senator, was not in the same position. Of the two of them, only one had responsibility for invading Iraq, and it wasn’t Trump. But at the debate, we didn’t see Hillary Clinton grilled by Lester Holt on Iraq.