On the very day that Hillary Clinton’s emails dominated the headlines (with FBI Director James Comey saying charges wouldn’t be referred against her), Donald Trump took the stage at a rally and….praised former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.
This is what he said, at the July 5 rally in North Carolina:
Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was a bad guy. Really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so well. They didn’t read them rights. They didn’t talk. They were a terrorist, it was over. Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorists. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq. It’s like Harvard, OK? So sad.
Praising Saddam? Some on the Internet had a field day with that, especially since Saddam’s human rights abuses are well known, including his gassing of the Kurdish people:
It turns out, though, that praising Saddam is something Trump has done before. In fact, in March, he used almost the same line, according to the Independent, saying of Saddam:
He was very good at killing terrorists. Now, Iraq is the Harvard for terrorism.
Indeed, Trump has made variations of the point many times. Examples: