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Biden claims he didn’t think Iraq had WMDs when he voted for the war. CNN reporter fact-checks him.

2020 presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden claims that he didn't think that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that he voted for the Iraq war to prove otherwise, but some of his past statements don't necessarily support that.

In a Monday night interview on MSNBC's "The Last Word," host Lawrence O'Donnell asked Biden if rival candidate Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — who opposed the war — had exercised better judgment on the matter.
In October 2002, Biden was one of 77 U.S. senators who voted to give then-President George W. Bush the authority to use military force against Iraq, a decision that has since haunted him on the campaign trail.

Biden told O'Donnell that he didn't believe Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that "the reason I voted the way I did was to try to prevent a war from happening" by proving that such weapons weren't there.
"Remember, the threat was to go to war," Biden told O'Donnell. "The argument was because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. So [Bush] said that 'I need to be able to get the [United Nations] Security Council to agree to send in inspectors to put pressure on Saddam, to find out whether or not he's using, is producing, nuclear weapons.'"

The former Delaware senator said that "at the time" he agreed, because "the rationale was that's the way to not go to war, because I didn't believe he had those nuclear weapons; I didn't believe he had those weapons of mass destruction."
Biden went on to claim, "What happened was we went in, determined that they hyped what, in fact, was occurring. There was no concrete proof of what he was doing, and they still went to war."
The former vice president added that it was a "mistake" that he "took the word of a president saying that he wasn't going to go to war and this was the way to avoid going to war."
However, the former vice president's account of the events doesn't match up with some of his statements at the time, according to CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski, who explained the disparities on Twitter.

Kaczynski referred back to a report of his from September that delved into multiple Biden statements from around the time of the debate over the invasion.
"I know there's enough circumstantial evidence that if this were a jury trial, I could convict you," Biden said of the administration's case about weapons of mass destruction ahead of then-Secretary of State Colin Powell's U.N. presentation.
"I am not opposed to war to remove weapons of mass destruction from Iraq," Biden said in a speech the following February, according to the report. "I am not opposed to war to remove Saddam from those weapons if it comes to that."
This wouldn't be the first time that Biden has been called out for an attempt to explain his Iraq war vote. A Washington Post fact-check about a previous claim that he opposed the war "from the moment it started" said that the Democratic candidate "was on his way to Four Pinocchios" until a campaign adviser sent a lengthy statement saying that he "misspoke by saying that he declared his opposition to the war immediately."
Last week, the Sanders campaign hit Biden on his Iraq record with a video ad highlighting the Vermont senator's past skepticism of the Bush administration. The ad was released in a tweet that stated, "I do not believe we will defeat Donald Trump with a candidate like Joe Biden who supported the Iraq War." 

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