Billionaire real estate tycoon and candidate for the 2016 US presidential elections, Donald Trump has courted controversy during an interview with CNN by saying that world would be a better place if Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein were in power.

"100 per cent," Trump said when asked if the world would be better off with Hussein and Gaddafi still at the helm in Iraq and Libya.

Donald Trump | Source: Reuters

Both strongmen committed atrocities against their own people and are now dead. Saddam, the former Iraqi president, was toppled in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and was executed in 2006.

Gaddafi who ruled Libya for four decades was ousted and killed in October 2011."People are getting their heads chopped off. They're being drowned. Right now it's far worse than ever under Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi," Trump said.

"I mean, look what happened. Libya is a catastrophe. Libya is a disaster. Iraq is a disaster. Syria is a disaster. The whole Middle East. It all blew up around Hillary Clinton and around Obama. It blew up."

Calling Iraq the "Harvard of terrorism," Trump said the country had turned into a "training ground for terrorists."

"If you look at Iraq from years ago, I'm not saying he (Saddam) was a nice guy. He was a horrible guy but it's better than it is now," Trump said.

Here is the full interview: