Donald Trump scrambles over Iraq war comments

Opposition to the war in Iraq has been a bedrock in the campaign of Republican hopeful Donald Trump. Now, though, it seems doubt has been raised on the issue. The unearthing of an interview from 2002 reveals Mr Trump is seeming to agree in principle with George Bush’s invasion plans.

At at CNN town hall interview in Columbia, South Carolina, Trump was confronted with the meeting, managing only to say, “I could have stated that,” and pointing out he was not a politician at the time. He followed up by saying he did not support the war by the time it had started.

The clip was found by BuzzFeed and posted online.

The interview was taken from the Howard Stern show some 14 years previous. The notorious shock-jock can be heard asking if Trump would support an invasion of Iraq, to which he replies, “I guess so.”

From the beginning, Mr Trump’s campaign has advertised its opposition to the war in Iraq. Such a revelation at this stage in the nomination contest is no doubt embarrassing to his person and campaign team.

Mr Trump also seemed to struggle when quizzed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper about his comments on weapons of mass destruction. In a previous debate in Charleston, he said there were no weapons of mass destruction and they “knew there were none.”

Asked if he thought President Bush had lied, Trump said he would have to check back on “some documents.”

The race for the nomination continues into South Carolina next, where Republican candidates have been keen to stress their pro-military and religious credentials. John Katich took to the podium in Columbia to talk about the loss of his parents in a car crash and how his Christian faith helped him through dark periods in his life.

Although Katich made a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary, Mr Trump emerged with an apparent victory – and continues to dominate in most South Carolinian opinion polls.