There were a number of occasions during the presidential election campaign when Donald Trump appeared to praise the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
“Saddam Hussein was not a good person. Who cares,” Mr Trump said in Ohio in March, as he criticised President Barack Obama’s policy in Iraq. “He was very good at killing terrorists. Now, Iraq is the Harvard for terrorism.”
Now Saddam’s eldest daughter is repaying the compliment. In her first interview since her father was executed 10 years ago, Raghad Saddam Hussein told CNN she believed that Mr Trump had a “high level of political sensibility”.
In an interview that criticised the US for the 2003 invasion and the chaotic aftermath and violence that has killed perhaps more than 1m Iraqis, she said she hoped the President-elect was different from US leaders such as George Bush and Mr Obama.
“This man has just arrived to the leadership ... But from what is apparent, this man has a high level of political sensibility, that is vastly different than the one who preceded him,” she told the network.
“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.”
Mr Trump claimed dieting the election campaign that he had opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq, though numerous media interviews from the time suggest the opposite was true. His rival, Hillary Clinton, was among those members of the US Senate that supported the bill that authorised the war, a decision she claimed was based on faulty intelligence provided by Mr Bush.
The former Iraqi’s leader’s eldest daughter said she was not involved in politics and supported no groups in Iraq. Yet the network said the 48-year-old has been accused of her father’s now-outlawed Baath party. More recently, the Iraqi government accused her of supporting Isis and celebrating its capture of Mosul - an allegation she denied.
“Of course I don’t have any relations to this group and other extremist groups. Moreover, the family's ideology has no similarities to that of extremist groups,” she said.
“As a proof to this, these groups only became powerful in Iraq after we left the country and our rule ended.”
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