Saddam Hussein's daughter touts Trump's 'political sensibility'

Raghad Hussein, the eldest daughter of the former Iraqi dictator, speaks of her hopeful stance on the incoming White House administration.

December 22, 2016 10:52
2 minute read.
Raghad Saddam Hussein, daughter of the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein

Raghad Saddam Hussein, daughter of the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The eldest daughter of Iraq's infamous former leader Saddam Hussein has praised US President-elect Donald Trump as possessing a "high level of political sensibility" that sets him apart from his predecessors.

In her first interview since her father's 2006 death, CNN on Thursday cited Raghad Hussein as speaking of her hopeful stance on the incoming White House administration of the billionaire real-estate mogul.

The eldest daughter of the deposed and later executed Iraqi president's five children has resided in Jordan since US forces invaded Iraq. Earlier this year, the Iraqi government demanded the Hashemite kingdom extradite her on allegations of supporting terror groups that seek to topple the current leadership.

While Raghad, 48, said she blames the United States for the chaos that fractured Iraq, she touted Trump's political acumen for being "vastly different" from that of outgoing US President Barack Obama. 

"He exposed the mistakes of the others, specifically in terms of Iraq, which means he is very aware of the mistakes made in Iraq and what happened to my father," she told CNN of Trump.

While Trump's foreign policy on Iraq has thus far been fairly vague, he has asserted that he intends to focus US military prowess on defeating the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

Trump claimed throughout his presidential campaign that he had opposed the Iraq War that toppled Hussein and his Baath regime in 2003.

However, US media cite him as expressing public support for the US-led invasion of the Middle Eastern country both before and after the conflict.

CNN noted Trump's apparently conflicting stance on the protracted fighting in Iraq, highlighting 2013 remarks in which he said Saddam Hussein "was a bad guy" despite praising the ruthless dictator because "he killed terrorists."

In an August 2015 on NBC's "Meet the Press" program, Trump said: "As you know, for years I've been saying: 'Don't go into Iraq.' They went into Iraq. They destabilized the Middle East. It was a big mistake."

Yet, his account that he always opposed the war was challenged during the campaign by Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who cited a 2002 interview Trump gave to radio host Howard Stern in which he replied: "Yeah I guess so" when asked if he supported invading Iraq.

More than 4,000 US troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died in the invasion of Iraq, which led to the creation of al-Qaida in Iraq, the forerunner to ISIS.
Carter confident Trump will maintain US role as leading anti-ISIS coalition partner

Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaida, used to justify the invasion, proved to be nonexistent.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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