Donald Trump vowed to “get rid of” ISIS if he’s elected president, noting America could very well need to send over troops to do the job.
Trump said he wouldn’t send tens of thousands of troops–some officials have said the U.S. would need to send that many–but admitted the U.S. would possibly need to send some over.
A Washington Post employee asked Trump about his talk about sending over 20,000 or 30,000 troops, but Trump said he had never said that.
“There was a question asked to me. I said that the military, the generals have said that 20- to 30,000. They said, would you send troops? I didn’t say send 20,000. I said, well the generals are saying you’d need because they, what would it take to wipe out ISIS, I said pretty much exactly this: I said the generals, the military is saying you would need 20- to 30,000 troops, but I didn’t say that I would send them,” Trump clarified.
“I would find it very, very hard to send that many troops to take care of it. I would say this, I would put tremendous pressure on other countries that are over there to use their troops and I’d give them tremendous air supporters and support, because we have to get rid of ISIS, okay, just so–we have to get rid of ISIS. I would get other countries to become very much involved.”
The issue was later revisited, when Trump noted America “doesn’t win” anymore, saying: “We can’t even beat ISIS.”
“I would knock the hell out of ISIS in some form. I would rather not do it with our troops, you understand that. Very important. Because I think saying that is very important because I was against the war in Iraq, although they found a clip talking to Howard Stern, I said, ‘Well…’ It was very unenthusiastic,” he said.
“Before they want in, I was totally against the war. I was against it for years. I actually had a delegation sent from the White House to talk to me because I guess I get a disproportionate amount of publicity. I was just against the war. I thought it would destabilize the Middle East, and it did. But we have to knock out ISIS. We are living like in medieval times. Who ever heard of the heads chopped off?”
Trump also dodged a question about using tactical nuclear weapons against the terrorist group, changing the subject and never answering it in any way.