Speaking at a rally on Tuesday, Donald Trump said that while Saddam Hussein “was a really bad guy,” he was efficient at killing “terrorists,” even though Iraq was considered a state sponsor of terrorism during his time in power.
Trump, who was once a supporter of the Iraq war, believes the U.S. should never have “destabilized” Iraq before praising Hussein.
“You know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good,” Trump said. “They didn’t read them the rights. They didn’t talk. They were a terrorist, it was over. Today, Iraq is the Harvard for terrorism,” he added.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was shocked by Trump’s remarks, spoked on Fox News, stating, “He was one of the 20th century’s most evil people.”
Jake Sullivan, Hillary Clinton’s campaign advisor, said in a statement, “Trump yet again lauded Saddam Hussein as a great killer of terrorists, noting with approval that he never bothered to ready anyone their rights.” Trump has previously praised Vladimir Putin of Russia and Kim Jong Un of North Korea.
Sullivan added, “In reality, Hussein’s regime was a sponsor of terrorism – one that paid for families of suicide bombers who attacked Israelis, among other crimes.”