WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump fabricated a tale about foreshadowing Osama bin Laden's 9/11 attack and warning against a war in Iraq before it happened in a weekend of exaggerated boasts and faulty assertions about the U.S. fight against extremists.
In a national address Sunday to announce the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State group, Trump inflated his importance in assessing the threat while persisting in his deception that he's bringing troops home from Syria.
The remarks helped cap a week in which Trump and his Republican allies repeatedly dismissed impeachment proceedings as an illegitimate scam. A federal judge ruled Friday it is not.
Here is a look at the president's claims, which also cover the economy, the environment and other topics:
WAR IN IRAQ
TRUMP: "In Iraq — so they spent — President Bush went in. I strongly disagreed with it, even though it wasn't my expertise at the time, but I had a very good instinct about things. They went in and I said, 'That's a tremendous mistake.' And there were no weapons of mass destruction. It turned out I was right." — news conference Sunday
THE FACTS: There is no evidence Trump expressed public opposition to the Iraq war before the United States invaded, despite his repeated insistence that he did. Rather, he offered lukewarm support. He began to voice doubts about the was only well after it began in March 2003.
His first known public comment on the topic came on Sept. 11, 2002, when he was asked whether he supported a potential Iraq invasion in an interview with radio host Howard Stern. "Yeah, I guess so," Trump responded. On March 21, 2003, just days after the invasion, Trump said it "looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint."
Later that year, he began expressing reservations.
TRUMP: "I'm writing a book. ... About a year before the World Trade Center came down, the book came out. I was talking about Osama bin Laden. I said, 'You have to kill him. You have to take him out.' Nobody listened to me." Trump added that people said to him, "'You predicted that Osama Bin Laden had to be killed, before he knocked down the World Trade Center.' It's true." — news conference
THE FACTS: It's not true.
His 2000 book, "The America We Deserve," makes a passing mention of bin Laden but did no more than point to the al-Qaida leader as one of many threats to U.S. security. Nor did he say in the book that bin Laden should have been killed.
As part of his criticism of what he considered Bill Clinton's haphazard approach to U.S. security as president, Trump wrote: "One day we're told that a shadowy figure with no fixed address named Osama bin Laden is public enemy Number One, and U.S. jetfighters lay waste to his camp in Afghanistan. He escapes back under some rock, and a few news cycles later it's on to a new enemy and new crisis."