On Sunday’s broadcast of CNN’s “State of the Union,” 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questioned if President Donald Trump’s reasons for the Qasem Soleimani assassination was to distract from impeachment.
Warren said, “I think that the question that we ought to focus on is why now? Why not a month ago, and why not a month from now? And the answer from the administration seems to be that they can’t keep their story straight on this. They pointed in all different directions. And you know, the last time that we watched them do this was the summer over Ukraine. As soon as people started asking about the conversations between Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine and why aid had been held up to Ukraine, the administration did the same thing. They pointed in all directions of what was going on. And of course, what emerged then is that this is Donald Trump just trying to advance Donald Trump’s own political agenda. Not the agenda of the United States of America. So what happens right now? Next week, the president of the United States could be facing an impeachment trial in the Senate. We know that he is deeply upset about that. I think that people are reasonably asking why this moment? Why does he pick now to take this highly inflammatory, highly dangerous action that moves us closer to war? We have been at war for 20 years in the Middle East, and we need to stop the war this the Middle East and not expand it.”
Tapper asked, “Are you suggesting that President Trump pulled the trigger and had Qasem Soleimani killed as a distraction from impeachment?”
Warren said, “Look, I think that people are reasonably asking about the timing and why it is that the administration seems to have all kinds of different answers. In the first 48 hours after this attack, what did we hear? Well, we heard it was for an imminent attack, and then we heard, no, no, it is to prevent any future attack, and then we heard that it is from the vice president himself and no, it is related to 9/11, and then we heard from president reports of people in the intelligence community saying that the whole, that the threat was overblown. You know, when the administration doesn’t seem to have a coherent answer for taking a step like this. They have taken a step that moves us closer to war, a step that puts everyone at risk, and step that puts the military at risk and puts the diplomats in the region at risk. And we have already paid a huge price for this war. Thousands of American lives lost, and a cost that we have paid domestically and around the world. At the same time, look at what it has done in the Middle East, millions of people who have been killed, who have been injured, who have been displaced. So this is not a moment when the president should be escalating tensions and moving us to war. The job of the president is to keep us safe, and that means move back from the edge.”
Tapper pressed, “Do you believe that President Trump pulled the trigger on this operation as a way to distract from impeachment? Is that what you think?”
Warren said, “I think it is a reasonable question to ask, particularly when the administration immediately after having taken this decision offers a bunch of contradictory explanations for what is going on.”
She continued, “I think it is the right question to ask. We will get more information as we go forward but look at the timing on this. Look at what Donald Trump has said afterward and his administration. They have pointed in multiple directions. There is a reason that he chose this moment, not a month ago and not a month from now, not a less aggressive and less dangerous response. He had a whole range of responses that were presented to him. He didn’t pick one of the other ones. He picked the most aggressive and the one that moves us closer to war. So what does everybody talk about today? Are we going to war? Are we going to have another five years, tens, ten years of war in the Middle East, and dragged in once again. Are we bringing another generation of young people into war? That is every bit of the conversation right now. Donald Trump has taken an extraordinarily reckless step, and we have seen it before, he is using foreign policy and uses whatever he can to advance the interests of Donald Trump.”
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