Donald Trump Praises Saddam Hussein in N.C. Speech

During a speech in Raleigh, Trump praised Saddam for how well he “killed terrorists."

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At a campaign rally on Tuesday in Raleigh, North Carolina, Donald Trump took a moment to express admiration for a very surprising figure — Saddam Hussein.

Trump praised the Iraqi dictator's knack for killing terrorists. The text of his comments:

"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 good. They didn't read them the rights — they didn't talk, they were a terrorist, it was over. Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq. It's like Harvard. Okay? So sad."

House Speaker Paul Ryan was asked by Fox News' Megyn Kelly for his reaction to these comments about Hussein. The Speaker replied, "He was one of the 20th century's most evil people... Saddam Hussein was a bad guy." Notably, Ryan refused to condemn Trump directly.

Hillary Clinton had no such issues. Jake Sullivan, her senior policy advisor, issued a statement condemning Trump for his comments. 

"Donald Trump's praise for brutal strongmen seemingly knows no bounds," Sullivan said. "In reality, Hussein's regime was a sponsor of terrorism — one that paid families of suicide bombers who attacked Israelis, among other crimes. Trump's cavalier compliments for brutal dictators, and the twisted lessons he seems to have learned from their history, again demonstrate how dangerous he would be as commander-in-chief and how unworthy he is of the office he seeks."

Trump's lauding of Hussein led to some mocking on social media.

The current Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. did not take kindly to the speech either.

This is not the first time Trump has paid homage to Saddam Hussein. Back in October 2015, he told CNN that the world would be "100%" better if Hussein was still in power. 

"Look at Iraq," he told the network's Jake Tapper. "Iraq used to be no terrorists. He would kill the terrorists immediately... If you look at Iraq from years ago, I'm not saying he was a nice guy, he was a horrible guy, but it was a lot better than it is right now."


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