Trump: Take Iraq's Oil Wealth and Give It to Wounded Warriors

Susan Jones | August 17, 2015 | 6:08am EDT
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greats the crowd at the Iowa State Fair Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

( - Donald Trump says he would defeat ISIS by taking over the oil fields the terrorists have seized in Iraq.

"We should definitely take back money for our soldiers," he told NBC's "Meet the Press" with Chuck Todd on Sunday.

"We've had soldiers that were decimated, so badly hurt -- the wounded warriors, and killed, of course. But we've had soldiers that were so badly hurt and killed, I want their families to get something because we got nothing out of that war.

"We spent $2 trillion, Chuck. We had thousands of people killed. Wounded warriors all over the place, they got nothing. And they can't even say we had a victory."

Trump said he never advocated a U.S. war with Iraq, but it happened, and "it was a big mistake" because it "destabilized" the Middle East.

"Now we're there, and you have ISIS. And I said this was going to happen. I said Iran will take over Iraq, which is happening, as sure as you're sitting there. And ISIS is taking over a lot of the oil in certain areas of Iraq. And I said, you take away their wealth. You go and knock the hell out of the oil. Take back the oil. We take over the oil, which we should have done in the first place."

Trump agreed that taking over Iraq's oil will require ground troops:

"It's Ok," he said. "We're going to circle it (Iraq). "We're going to circle. We're going to have so much money, and what I would do with the money that we make, which would be tremendous, I would take care of the soldiers that were killed, the families of the soldiers that were killed, the soldiers, the wounded warriors that are -- see, I love them.

"And they're walking all over the streets of New York, all over the streets of every city, without arms, without legs and worse than that. And I would take care of them. They paid a big price --"

Trump also indicated he would support Saudi Arabia -- for a fee:

"Look, Saudi Arabia is going to be in big trouble pretty soon, and they're going to need help." (He was talking about Yemen eyeing Saudi oil.)

"Like it or don't like it, people have backed Saudi Arabia. What I really mind, though, is we back it at tremendous expense. We get nothing for it, and they're making a billion dollars a day...We should at least be reimbursed. We'd be an extremely wealthy country."

Wouldn't that turn the U.S. military into a mercenary force? Todd asked Trump.

"No. Not at all," Trump said. "Look, we are a debtor nation. We owe now it's $1.9 trillion. I`ve been saying $1.8, now it's 1.9 -- it's really kicked in. It's soon going to be $2.4 trillion. That's like a point that whether you believe in the great economists or not, that seems to be a point of no return. That's where we're Greece on steroids, ok.

"We're going to be there very soon. Why are we doing all of this -- these are wealthy countries. They will give us, if we have the right messenger, they will give us.

"It's like this horrible deal with Iran. This deal, if you had the right -- you'd have the prisoners back years ago."

Trump said he never would have returned Iran's money -- the assets frozen by the United States.

"I would have told them up front, by the way, we will never give you back your money. We will never give you back your $150 billion. You`re never getting that money back."

Todd also asked Trump who he turns to for military advice.

"Well, I watch the shows," Trump responded. "I really see a lot of great -- when you watch your show and all of the other shows and you have the generals and you have certain people that you like --"

Trump said he likes "two or three" of the people he watches on television: He named former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton as a "tough cookie" who "knows what he's talking about." He also described Col. Jack Jacobs (a military analyst for NBC/MSNBC) as "a good guy" whom he sees "on occasion."

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