Trump Offers Praise For Saddam Hussein: 'He Killed Terrorists. He Did That So Good'
Donald Trump offered praise to an unlikely public figure at a North Carolina rally on Tuesday night.
“He was a bad guy – really bad guy,” Trump said about former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. “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 terrorists. Over. Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism.”
One of Trump’s most vocal opponents, Democratic counterpart Hillary Clinton immediately took issue with his comments, saying in a statement – obtained by PEOPLE – from her Senior policy advisor that Trump’s “praise for brutal strongmen seemingly knows no bounds.”
“He has applauded the strength China showed in the Tiananmen Square massacre, offered admiration for Kim Jong Un’s murderous consolidation of power in North Korea, and consistently lavished praise on Vladimir Putin,” the statement continued. “Tonight, Trump yet again lauded Saddam Hussein as a great killer of terrorists, noting with approval that he never bothered to read anyone their rights.
The statement added: “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.”
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Clinton’s camp weren’t the only ones to find Trump’s comments problematic. Comedian Michael Ian Black took to Twitter calling out one flaw in the billionaire businessman’s message.
“When is somebody going to break it to Trump that Saddam Hussein was a Muslim,” Black tweeted, as Trump has criticized the religion in the past.
Meanwhile, editor Judd Legum took a different approach, pointing out all of the things that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan – who has been hesitant about endorsing Trump – doesn’t agree with.
“Things Paul Ryan disagrees with Trump on: 1. The racist thing 2. The anti-Semitic thing 3. The thing where he praises Saddam,” Legum tweeted.
Although Trump did take to Twitter soon after his event, he did not address his comments.