Executive Intelligence Review


SDI Was Part of Trump’s 1999 Presidential Campaign

March 26, 2018 (EIRNS)—Promoting missile defense was a key plank in President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 1999 when he sought the nomination of the Reform Party. As reported in the March 22 briefing, Trump called for SDI on Nov. 28, 1999, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. On Nov. 18, 1999, on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC, Trump made similar comments.

Trump was asked a question by an audience member, “What is your attitude towards current defense spending, and what do you see as the role of the U.S. military in the 21st century?”

Donald Trump: Well, I think that current defense spending is at a virtual all-time low. Our military is not ready. I believe in something that actually Ronald Reagan believed in, and that’s missile defense. I really believe they called it Star Wars.

Chris Matthews: SDI.

Trump: The fact is right now...

Matthews: Are you for it?

Trump: Right now I am totally for it. I think we have the technology now. And you know, it’s interesting with Ronald Reagan. They were laughing at him when he came up with the concept of Star Wars, actually now many years ago, it was brilliant concept. And he knew something a lot of people didn’t know. We really do have, now, the technology to do it.

Matthews: Do you want the total shield, or do you want point defense?

Trump: I want a shield. A shield.... You have some madman out there that’s going to say, let’s take out New York....

Matthews: But what do you do about cruise missiles? They come in right under the shield. You could go... you can defend against ballistic. How do you defend against cruise missiles?

Trump: I believe that you can have a shield that—you know what? If it works 100%, if it works 90%, or if it works 80%, that’s better than not having a shield at all, believe me.