Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE on Tuesday questioned whether soldiers may have responsible for reconstruction funds lost during the Iraq War in comments that raised eyebrows on social media.
“How about bringing baskets of money, millions and millions of dollars, and handing it out?” he mused during a campaign rally in Greensboro, N.C.
“I want to know, who were the soldiers that had the job?” the GOP’s de facto presidential nominee wondered. "Because I think they’re living very well right now, whoever they might be.”
Trump did not specify if he was referencing American or Iraqi military personnel, and campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied the billionaire was talking about U.S. soldiers late Tuesday.
“Mr. Trump was referring to Iraqi soldiers,” she said, according to NBC News.
The Guardian reported last October that Trump had pondered the potential for lost money when distributing funds during the Afghan and Iraqi reconstructions.
“I want to know who are the soldiers carrying suitcases with $50 [million]?” he asked during a speech in Keene, N.H. "How stupid are we? I wouldn’t be surprised if those soldiers, if the cash wasn’t there.”
Trump on Tuesday also derided the steep cost of U.S. military involvement in Iraq and other Middle Eastern nations.
“We’ve spent probably $14 trillion over the last four years in the Middle East,” he said. "We build a school and it gets blown up again and again. We’re flat broke.”
Trump additionally criticized President Obama’s foreign policy for breeding the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“[Obama] got out the wrong way,” he said. "The Middle East became totally destabilized. What happened? We got ISIS out of the deal.
“Remember this — when we got out, we should have taken some of the oil. Some of the pundits, they don’t have the brains they were born with, said, ‘They’re talking about a sovereign country.' Iraq — crooked as hell."