The Donald Doctrine: "Only Interested In Libya If We Get The Oil"

April 07, 2011 9:24 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

Donald Trump raised eyebrows recently when he argued that the U.S. should "take the oil" from Iraq or else all of the troops killed in the war "would have died in vain." This morning on NBC, the surging GOP presidential contender applied a similar philosophy to the situation in Libya. Sidestepping issues like human rights and American regional interests, Trump said, "I'm only interested in Libya if we get the oil."

TRUMP: I'm only interested in Libya if we keep the oil.  If we don't keep the oil, I'm not interested. We don't know who the rebels are. They make the rebels like it's some romantic, beautiful novel - the rebels. I hear the rebels are Al Qaeda, I hear they're Iran-backed and Iran-influenced. Where are they getting those weapons before we came along? From Iran. Gaddafi's going to go around saying he won the war against this country. When you ask me what I'd do — I'm only interested in Libya if we get the oil.

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Trump also defended his recent indulgence in conspiracy theories about President Obama's birthplace, saying, "Three weeks ago when I started, I thought he was probably born in this country, and now I really have a much bigger doubt than I did before." He could not say what changed in the past three weeks to change his mind, other than rattling off a series of discredited myths about Obama's grandmother and the president's readily available certificate of live birth.

According to Trump, the only thing stopping him from declaring his candidacy is his television show, Celebrity Apprentice. "Until that show is over, I can't declare, because otherwise NBC would have to take that show off the air," he explained. "And I think that would be very unfair to NBC."

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