Lester Holt may have tried to fact-check Donald Trump in the debate last night, but apparently he got his “facts” wrong.
Holt accused Donald Trump of supporting the war in Iraq, however footage from a 2003 Trump interview with Neil Cavuto tells a much different story.
Holt began one question by stating that Republican nominee Trump “had supported the war in Iraq before the invasion,” a frequent claim from critics that Trump has adamantly disputed during the primary and general election seasons. Holt on Monday, and many in the media before him, pointed to a September 2002 interview Trump gave to Howard Stern in which he said “Yeah, I guess so” in response to a question about whether President Bush should go to war.
…But Cavuto himself picked up the thread post-debate on Fox Business Network, unearthing the clip Trump referenced, from January 28, 2003 – Nearly two months before the Iraq War began on March 20. In the video, Cavuto asks Trump how much time President Bush should spend on the economy vs. on Iraq. “Well, I’m starting to think that people are much more focused now on the economy,” Trump said. “They’re getting a little bit tired of hearing ‘We’re going in, we’re not going in.’ Whatever happened to the days of Douglas MacArthur? Either do it or don’t do it.”
Trump continued: “Perhaps he shouldn’t be doing it yet. And perhaps we should be waiting for the United Nations.” After the invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent fallout, Trump became a much stronger and far more vocal critic of the war.
You can watch the 2003 Cavuto clip at Fox News here.
It is not clear whether the mistake was an innocent error, or intentionally misleading. However, if Lester Holt didn’t have his facts right with 100% certainty, he should not have been interrupting the presidential debate in the first place.
Once again, the mainstream media proving itself to be nothing more than the public relations wing of the Hillary Clinton campaign….