Presidential hopeful Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeButtiegieg backs NFL players’ right to protest during anthem: I ‘put my life on the line to defend’ that Overnight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan CNN’s O’Rourke town hall finishes behind Fox News, MSNBC MORE (D) denounced President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America’s veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE‘s announcement that the U.S. will send 1,500 troops to the Middle East on Saturday and questioning the administration’s claim of a threat from Iranian forces to U.S. forces already stationed in the area.
The former congressman told CBS’ Margaret Brennan in an interview airing Sunday that the president’s decision to send troops to the region to counter a supposed threat from Iranian-backed forces would only provoke conflict and draw the U.S. into war.
“President Trump is escalating tensions, is provoking yet another war in the Middle East where we find ourselves already engaged in war in so many countries- in Iraq in Syria in Yemen, not too far from there in Libya and in Afghanistan,” O’Rourke told CBS.
“[W]e don’t need another war. We need to find a way to work with allies and partners and in some cases with our enemies,” the Texas Democrat continued.
Pointing to aides of the president including national security adviser John BoltonJohn Robert BoltonGOP senator says Iran needs to ‘stop acting like an outlaw’ Iraq War looms over Trump battle with Iran Overnight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds MORE, who has a reputation for a hawkish stance towards Iran, O’Rourke said that the White House risked sending the U.S. to war over “misconstrued facts.”
“I have a really hard time believing this administration and believing a- a president who has so wantonly lied and misconstrued the facts at every single turn to his own gain. I’m- I’m suspicious of a national security team that has so often called for war,” O’Rourke said.
“You have someone in- in– Bolton, who has publicly said that he wants regime change in Iran,” he added, predicting that a war with the country would leave hundreds of thousands dead.
His comments echoed those of Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: 1,500 troops heading to Mideast to counter Iran | Trump cites Iran tensions to push through Saudi arms sale | Senate confirms Army, Navy chiefs before weeklong recess Trump to send 1,500 troops to Middle East to counter Iran Frustration boils over with Senate’s ‘legislative graveyard’ MORE (R-Ky.), a skeptic of foreign intervention, who called on the president to reconsider his announcement on Friday while urging Trump not to listen to “neocons” close to him, a clear reference to Bolton and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: 1,500 troops heading to Mideast to counter Iran | Trump cites Iran tensions to push through Saudi arms sale | Senate confirms Army, Navy chiefs before weeklong recess Senators say Trump using loophole to push through Saudi arms sale Trump to send 1,500 troops to Middle East to counter Iran MORE.
“This escalation doesn’t get us out of our decades long, seemingly endless wars Mr. President. Trust your instincts and follow what you ran on, not the neocons around who want to repeat past mistakes,” Paul tweeted.
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