Donald Trump is now the Republican Party's official nominee for president in 2016, but that won't stop him from blaming the last Republican president for things that go wrong in his own presidential campaign.
On Monday Trump continued to fend off criticism over his response to the family of fallen American war hero Humayun Khan by blaming former president George W. Bush for the soldier's death.
"If I were president, [their] son wouldn't have died because I wouldn't have been in the war." Trump told FOX News' Sean Hannity in an interview on Monday night. "If I was president back then, there would have been no war for Iraq, I can tell you that, because I think it's ridiculous, the whole thing."
Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of Humayun Khan, were widely praised for their speech at the Democratic National Convention. Their son was killed in a car bombing in 2004 while deployed in Iraq. Khizr Khan attacked Donald Trump at the DNC for dishonoring the legacy of his son by pushing anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies.
Hannity, a longtime supporter of George W. Bush and the Iraq War, immediately pushed back against Trump for his criticism of the former president.
Hannity followed up on Trump's comments by quickly a pointing out that Trump also opposed pulling out of Iraq, a point of agreement between himself and the candidate.
Trump's criticism of the Iraq War is not entirely unjustified. Many Americans now believe that the Iraq War was a mistake that cost too many American soldiers their lives.
However, there is some reason to doubt Trump's claim that, if he were president in 2004, there would be no war in Iraq. In 2002 Trump told radio host Howard Stern that he supported the upcoming invasion. After the war began, he became more critical of the military campaign, eventually telling CNN, "I do not believe that we made the right decision going into Iraq, but, you know, hopefully, we'll be getting out." It's worth noting that Trump's hope for a quick withdrawal contradicts Hannity's claim that the candidate "opposed pulling out."
Trump's battle with the Khans has also taken on a darker, more Trumpian tone. In an interview with a local Ohio media outlet on Monday, Trump suggested that the Khans' real reason for opposing his candidacy had to do with the candidate's opposition to terrorism.
When asked about his position on national security and protecting the border Trump responded by saying that it was a "very big subject" for him. "[Y]ou have radical Islamic terrorists probably all over the place, we’re allowing them to come in by the thousands and thousands" Trump told the interviewer. He then continued by saying, "I think that’s what bothered Mr. Khan more than anything else."