Joe Biden, the presumptive Democrat nominee, accused President Donald Trump on Wednesday of “coddling terrorists and thugs” around the globe.
“We’re going to get to work fixing the mess that President Trump and Vice President [Mike] Pence have created, both at home and abroad, through four years of mismanagement and coddling of terrorists and thugs around the world,” Biden said during an event in Delaware alongside his newly announced running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).
Biden’s comments took some Republicans, including Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), by surprise given the former vice president’s history of opposing military efforts against terrorist leaders.
Zeldin wrote on social media:
With a straight face, Biden just said President Trump has been coddling terrorists around the world. After Biden advised against taking out [Osama] Bin Laden, now he’s ignoring that it was Pres. Trump who had Soleimani & al-Baghdadi killed, the ISIS caliphate eliminated, and far more.
With a straight face, Biden just said President Trump has been coddling terrorists around the world.After Biden advised AGAINST taking out Bin Laden, now he’s ignoring that it was Pres. Trump who had Soleimani & al-Baghdadi killed, the ISIS caliphate eliminated, and far more.
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) August 12, 2020
Earlier this year, Biden opposed the Trump administration’s assassination of Qasem Soleimani, a onetime high ranking figure in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard. At the time, Biden argued that although Soleimani was guilty of perpetrating “crimes against American troops and thousands of innocents” throughout the Middle East, Trump’s move risked starting a war with Iran. Although those fears never materialized, Biden has remained a staunch critic of the assassination.
“I would not have ordered that strike on Soleimani because there was no evidence of an imminent threat,” the former vice president said at the Democrat primary debate in February.