The lies Trump told this week: from Saddam to the concept of losing a war

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In the latest of a continuing series, the Guardian looks at some of the tallest tales the presumptive Republican nominee has told over the past seven days

Trump

Saddam Hussein

He was a bad guy. Really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good, they didnt read em their rights. 5 July 2016, Raleigh, North Carolina

Husseins decision to invade Kuwait in 1990 landed Iraq on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, and it stayed there for his regimes 1993 plot to assassinate George HW Bush, and for its financial support of Palestinian suicide bombers and groups opposed to Turkey and Iran. A 2007 report by the Institute for Defense Analyses, a national security thinktank, found that Hussein had no direct links to al-Qaida whose very limited presence in Iraq also meant that he did not seek out its militants for punishment but the report found that Hussein sometimes found common cause with terrorist groups.

The Iraqi dictator brutally cracked down on dissent and minority groups, whether civilians or those who rose up against him. In the 1980s he murdered thousands of Kurdish civilians with chemical weapons, and in the 1990s he cracked down on Shia groups whose revolts were considered terrorism by his regime. He also instituted a surveillance state that frequently swept up innocent people.

Trumps broader point was that the Iraq war, which he tepidly supported in 2003 despite later claims to the contrary, created conditions for terrorism to thrive. He is correct in this regard, as became clear during the years of civil war that have plagued the country, the rise of terror groups out of Husseins disbanded officers and jihadi militants from abroad, and, most recently, by intelligence files revealed in the UKs Chilcot report.

Thats not praising Saddam Hussein. I would say maybe its the opposite. But when it comes to terrorism, I said he did a good job because he killed terrorists. 6 July 2016, Cincinnati

Only a night after his statement about Hussein, one of many made over the past few months, Trump claimed that his remarks did not constitute praise or admiration. I dont love Saddam Hussein, I hate Saddam Hussein, he said. Trump then proceeded to comment approvingly praise by any dictionarys definition on the dictator again. But he was damn good at killing terrorists.

The businessman even went so far as to say he would follow Husseins example in stripping suspects of any semblance of due process. He didnt wait around. You think they gave the terrorists trials that lasted 18 years, and then after 18 years, if they had the right lawyer, they erect a statue in honor of the terrorist, right? Not with Trump.

Hillary Clinton

The system is rigged. General Petraeus got in trouble for far less. Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment. 5 July 2016, on Twitter

Trumps tweet is intended to attack the FBIs decision not to recommend charges against Clinton, who was under investigation for her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. But in fact it was the justice departments lenience toward General David Petraeus that made it more difficult, in part, for prosecutors to recommend charges against Clinton.

In 2015 Petraeus, a former CIA director and a four-star general, pled guilty to giving a large amount of classified information including the identities of covert officers and war strategy to his biographer, with whom he was having an affair. During the FBI investigation, Petraeus lied to agents, according to the plea deal. But the justice department only sentenced Petraeus to two years probation and a $100,000 fine, provoking accusations that this relatively lenient sentence was evidence of a double standard for the powerful.

FBI director James Comey made clear to Congress on Thursday that agents did see great carelessness in Clintons case but not enough material for a case. You know what would be a double standard? If she were prosecuted for gross negligence, he said. No reasonable prosecutor would bring the … case in 100 years based on gross negligence.

Thats just not fair, he added. It would be fair to have a robust disciplinary proceeding. Its not fair to prosecute someone on these facts.

He added that Clinton did not lie to investigators when they interviewed her about the case.

Campaign

I financed my own primary campaign, you know that, over $50m, my own money! 6 July 2016, Cincinnati

As of 6 July, Trump had still not converted loans to his campaign into donations, meaning that he technically is not funding his campaign so much as letting it borrow from him. His last financial statement also showed that his campaign had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at Trump properties and on hats. Trumps campaign has promised that he would convert over $45m, and on 23 June the candidate falsely claimed to have already done so.

War

When we were young we never lost a war. 5 July 2016, Raleigh, North Carolina

Trump did not serve in the Vietnam war, though he became eligible for the draft in 1964, the year that Congress gave Lyndon Johnson the powers to drastically escalate US military action in south-east Asia. Under Richard Nixon the US alternately intensified combat and attempted peace talks with the North Vietnamese, and in March 1973 the last American combat soldiers left with inconclusive results but more than 58,000 US soldiers killed and 150,000 wounded.

Two years later, two more American marines died in an attack on Saigons airport, and North Vietnamese tanks rolled into the city, ending the war in defeat for the USs allies in South Vietnam.

Trump first received several student deferments, and months after his graduation in 1968 had a physical exam that put him close to the bottom of the draft list. Trump has explained this by saying he had bone spurs in both feet, though he played sports before university.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/08/donald-trump-lies-saddam-hussein-terrorists-clinton-petraeus