On Wednesday evening NBC hosted a Commander in Chief Forum in New York that featured presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton addressing a host of military and veteran issues moderated by Today host Matt Lauer.
During the forum, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton emphasized her past foreign policy experience working with several different presidents and said that having good judgment and temperament are important qualities a commander in chief must possess.
Although Clinton came under fire for her past use of her private e-mail server, support of the Iraq War during the Bush administration, and handling of Libya while serving as Secretary of State, Clinton pointed out that Trump previously admitted during a Howard Stern interview his own support for the U.S. invasion in Iraq and noted he’s also on record supporting the U.S. military intervention in Libya with NATO and the Arab League.
Clinton said that the U.S. has to continue its air campaign of ISIS while assisting Arab, the Iraqi military, and Kurdish soldiers on the ground who fight against ISIS fighters.
Clinton admitted that we also have to do a better job combating ISIS online, where they recruit and radicalize.
Trump criticized President Obama for the way he exited Iraq even though in reality the exit plan Obama executed was first initiated by Republican leadership under the Bush administration.
Trump was questioned about past statements he’s made about knowing more about ISIS than the generals do.
Trump responded by criticizing past leadership under Clinton and the Obama administration.
“I think under the leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the generals have been reduced to rubble. They have been reduced to a point where it’s embarrassing for our country” Trump said.
Trump later admitted that he had faith in “certain” of the military commanders.
Spoils Of War
Trump said that the U.S. should have taken Iraqi oil after overthrowing former Iraqi President Sadaam Hussein, a strategy that would have likely come under heavy criticism from the international community and the Iraqi population.
“You know, it used to be to the victor belong the spoils. Now, there was no victor there, believe me. There was no victor. But I always said: Take the oil” Trump said.
When Trump was questioned about Russian President Vladimir Putin, he spoke favorably about Putin’s 82 percent approval rating and questioned widely held claims about his annexation of Crimea, incursion in Ukraine, support for Iran and Assad in Syria, undermining U.S. influence in key regions, and probably being a main suspect in the hacking of DNC computers.
“Well, nobody knows that for a fact” Trump said.
“But do you want me to start naming some of the things that President Obama does at the same time? Trump questioned.
Trump continued to boast about Putin and claimed the Russian leader has been a leader, “far more than our president has been a leader.”