Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) said President Donald Trump was “escalating tensions” and was “provoking yet another war in the Middle East” with his administration’s actions against Iran.
Partial transcript as follows:
BRENNAN: I want to quickly ask you about some of those things regarding veterans. Do you think President Trump was right to send these fifteen hundred troops to the Middle East to counter the Iran threat?
O’ROURKE: No. 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. So, we don’t need another war. We need to find a way to work with allies and partners and in some cases with our enemies.
BRENNAN: So do you doubt the U.S. intelligence that said there was a threat on the ground to U.S. forces in Iraq?
O’ROURKE: I- 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. You have someone in- in– Bolton, who has publicly said that he wants regime change in Iran. The body count in- in that kind of war on- on both sides will not be measured in the hundreds or the thousands but the tens or hundreds of thousands. If there is a peaceful alternative to this- and I know that there is- then we must do everything within our power to pursue it. And that’s what I would do in my administration. I’d stick up for our values, make sure that we defend our allies, protect the lives of our fellow Americans. But do that peacefully where we can. Otherwise, we will produce more wars, more veterans coming back to this country seeking the care that they are being effectively and functionally denied today. I think we need to do far better going forward, and I know that we can.
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