Does Donald Trump believe that the United States made a mistake by invading Afghanistan after 9/11?
That’s what he seemed to say Tuesday morning during an interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day.”
“Do you believe that American boots should stay on the ground in Afghanistan to stabilize the situation?” Cuomo asked the billionaire Republican presidential front-runner.
“I wouldn’t totally disagree with it, except, you know, at some point, are they going to be there for the next 200 years? You know, at some point what’s going on? It’s going to be a long time,” Trump first responded, arguing that the U.S. should not remove all its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016.
“We made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place,” he then added, suggesting he now opposes America’s invasion of Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. “We had real brilliant thinkers that didn’t know what the hell they were doing, and it’s a mess.”
A request for clarification from The Daily Caller was not immediately returned by the Trump campaign.
Trump has repeatedly stated his opposition to the Iraq war — though the first reported instance of his opposition does not appear until over a year after the war began — but this appears to be the first time Trump has expressed his opposition to the war in Afghanistan.
Of all the 2016 presidential contenders, Ben Carson is the only other presidential contender to express opposition to the Afghan war.
“I personally would not have [gone to war in Afghanistan] because, you know, you’ve got to look at the history of Afghanistan,” Carson told The Daily Caller in 2013. “You’ve got 300 tribal leaders throughout the country who have never been united in anything so who are you going to negotiate with? How are you going to achieve peace in a situation like that?”