Rush Limbaugh Says Same Democrats Who Tricked George W. Bush Into Iraq War and WMDs Are Now Pushing Trump-Russia Evidence

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who President Donald Trump recently awarded the Medal of Freedom, accused Democrats and U.S. intelligence agencies of tricking former President George W. Bush into the Iraq War—and he said they're now going after Trump.

Limbaugh said the same intelligence agencies who "set up" Bush to sell Congress on the Iraq War are now "deploying every weapon" against the Trump administration. His Friday radio broadcast rehashed his own conspiratorial version of the lead-up to America's 2003 invasion of Iraq. He claimed "deep state" intelligence agencies and the Democratic Party faked evidence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in order to embarrass Bush's Republican administration. Limbaugh accused Democrats, the FBI and CIA of colluding against Trump in a similar way today by "making up evidence" of Russian ties.

"Now Bush, as a Republican, [was] probably not popular with the deep state particularly after how he was elected. A lot of Democrats, a lot of deep staters think that Gore should have been president," Limbaugh said Friday. "I think there was as much resentment in the deep state, we just didn't call it that then, for George W. Bush as there is today for Donald Trump — and if not the same, it's close."

Limbaugh claimed both Republican presidents, Bush and Trump, drew the ire of the so-called "Democrat deep state" because their respective opponents, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, both won the popular vote in their respective elections. Limbaugh at no point mentions the culpability of Vice President Dick Cheney and Bush's Republican administration in vigilantly selling the war to Congress.

"I think, 'How could so many different intelligence agencies get something so wrong as weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?' ... and it was all bogus, because we went in there. It was the pretext for invading Iraq after 9/11. We get in there, and there are no weapons of mass destruction," Limbaugh said, before addressing the fallout of the U.S. coalition finding no WMDs.

"It was one of the most embarrassing things. The Bush administration had to scramble; everybody had to scramble. I have seen what this bunch of people in the intelligence community are capable of; what they've tried with Trump here, this whole Russia meddling, Trump colluding? This whole thing is a gigantic lie, a totally bogus hoax, a silent coup. That's when I began to think the weapons of mass destruction thing was a setup against Bush, too," he continued.

Limbaugh said of U.S. intelligence agencies: "Why should we believe these people? They haven't been right about anything in the last four years. They were wrong about the weapons of mass destruction. They didn't get Benghazi right." Limbaugh's comments were immediately ridiculed by historians, political pundits and anyone weary that right-wing talk radio rarely relies on factual information over emotion.

As the nonprofit group On The Issues notes, Limbaugh was a champion of the Iraq War and claims of WMDs tied to Saddam Hussein. He has also long accused Democrats of being behind the war, which was sold to Congress by Bush's Republican administration. "Limbaugh in 2006 announced his plan to 'get out the truth on weapons of mass destruction,' blaming 'the obdurate stubbornness and blindness of the Democrats and the drive-by media.'"

MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell, visibly angered and frustrated by Limbaugh's remarks, played a full two-minute clip of Limbaugh's Iraq War rant against the Democrats Friday evening. "Rush Limbaugh speaks to Trump supporters for three hours a day to supply Trump supporters with a counter-theory that no one should believe what Vladimir Putin is doing," O'Donnell said, calling his comments "demented."

"It all begins with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq—you need to know what these people are telling each other," he added. "This is the reason Donald Trump is president."

The Iraq War officially began in March 2003 after Congress authorized the use of military force in an October 2002 vote, which drew bipartisan support from Democrats including then-Senators Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. The vote followed months of testimony and demands for the invasion from members of the Bush administration.

The last U.S. troops left in December 2011 following a protracted and controversial withdrawal under the Obama administration. The Department of Defense lists 4,424 U.S. armed forces deaths and more than 31,000 wounded in addition to hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed the number of U.S. troops in Iraq at 5,000 in January 2019.

rush limbaugh trump iraq war
Rush Limbaugh claimed Democrats and U.S. intelligence agencies tricked George W. Bush on WMDs and the Iraq War -- and he says those same "deep state" figures are attacking Trump over Russian ties. LEAH MILLIS/Getty Images