By Jonathan Easley
Donald Trump on Tuesday blamed Bill Clinton for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, saying that if the former president had authorized the assassination of Osama bin Laden thousands of Americans wouldn’t have died.
“I saw [bin Laden], I was watching him and reading about him making horrible statements about us, and I said to myself, I hope we take this guy out, and we didn’t take this guy out,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
“And actually, Bill Clinton had their sights on him and then didn’t pull the trigger,” Trump continued. “If they pulled the trigger you’d probably have the World Trade Center the way it used to be. And by the way, most importantly, with all the thousands of lives that have been lost and affected so gravely. So we have to be smart.”Clinton has acknowledged that he had the opportunity to assassinate bin Laden in 1998, but he passed, saying that a strike targeting the eventual 9/11 mastermind would have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians.
“I nearly got him,” Clinton once told an Australian political leader. “And I could have killed him, but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him. And so I didn’t do it.”
In October, Trump infuriated many conservatives by blaming former President George W. Bush for the 9/11 attacks, which took place less than a year after Bush assumed the presidency.