Former president Bill Clinton told interviewer Larry King in 2003 that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
“The man needs to get rid of his chemical and biological weapons stocks,” Clinton said on February 6, 2003 as President Bush contemplated attacking Iraq.
Clinton listed a number of weapons that Saddam might have including anthrax, volunteering, “They may even have a little smallpox.” Clinton said that he was “pretty sure” that Saddam had the chemical agents VX and ricin.
“Sure,” Clinton said when King asked him point blank if he ever saw information as president that led him to believe that Saddam was making weapons.
When Clinton called in to King’s show again in July 2003 — as his own former chief of staff John Podesta was hammering Bush for not finding weapons of mass destruction — Clinton told people to ease off Bush a bit.
“You know, everybody makes mistakes when they are president,” Clinton said. “I mean, you can’t make as many calls as you have to make without messing up once in awhile. The thing we ought to be focused on is what is the right thing to do now. That’s what I think.”
“People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons.”