WASHINGTON, D.C.–In a closed-door meeting with House Republicans, former Vice President Dick Cheney said President Obama has “actually done things that have supported the Muslim Brotherhood,” according to Rep. John Fleming (R-LA).
Fleming explained how Cheney traced the lineage of many of the jihadist groups back to the Muslim Brotherhood and asserted that Obama has actually assisted the Muslim Brotherhood.
“He really gave an extremely important discussion,” Fleming said. “He basically said that President Obama has actually done things that have supported the Muslim Brotherhood that on the other hand the Muslim Brotherhood is really the beginnings of all the Islamist groups we are dealing with, Hamas, ISIS all of those groups and that President Obama has actually facilitated the Muslim Brotherhood. So our policies have been exactly opposite to where they should be.”
Alabama Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne echoed that most of the terrorist groups in the region are outgrowths of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“I think its a mistake for all of us to just focus on ISIS. ISIS is a manifestation of a radical ideology that is taking place throughout the Middle East,” he said. “I was with a group of Armed Services Committee people who were in the Middle East for 10 days last week, it doesn’t matter whether it’s ISIS, or Hamas, or the Muslim Brotherhood or Hizballah, or Boko Haram or whatever they call it, it’s one in the same thing. And it springs out of this Muslim Brotherhood group, and so we’ve got to work with our allies in the Middle East proactively to help them stand up and fight this. It’s a major challenge to them, but it’s going to be a challenge to us because they are going to bring that back to us here.
Cheney spoke to the House GOP conference Tuesday morning about the ongoing danger in the Middle East and encouraged a strong repulsion of those threats.
“That the world is not as safe as it used to be, because America has stepped back from our role. And when America steps back, the bad guys fill in the gaps,” Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston recalled Cheney’s talk as he left the meeting.
“I think he just wants to make sure that the military is well funded and capable of taking on what crisis could be around the corner and that you have to be consistent dealing with the enemy,” he added.
Cheney’s talk to House Republicans comes a day before President Obama is scheduled to address Congress and lay out his plan to confront the terrorist group ISIS.
Cheney will be speaking at the American Enterprise Institute tomorrow as well, he told GOP lawmakers.
According to members who listened to Cheney, the former vice president’s messages stressed a vigorous response to the ongoing situation in the Middle East.
“I think most of us, if you’re watching TV, it’s chaotic what’s happening. You see what’s going on there. You’ve got Americans being executed who are innocent journalists – just like yourself. Who are doing a job reporting what’s actually going on. Persecution of Christians in that area. It’s unprecedented,” Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe said.
While he did not lay out a specific course of action, according to Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry, Cheney stressed a need to do something,
“[D]oing nothing and pulling out he stressed several times was not a good national strategic policy,” Terry said.
In describing a need to be forceful, Cheney also voiced a need to keep an eye on Afghanistan.
“He said that we are doing the same thing in Afghanistan that we did in Iraq and that we are going to get the same terrible results,” Fleming said. “We need to immediately do an about face and, while we are drawing down in Afghanistan, we need to keep our drones, we have a [status of forces agreement], and that we do the sort of things necessary, because we’ve got to keep an eye on that neighborhood because it is very dangerous.”
New York Rep. Peter King added that Cheney would like to see Obama go beyond what Obama likely will say Wednesday.
“He thinks that probably we should go further than probably what the president is going to say,” King said. “He thinks in conjunction with the speech he should say we aren’t going to pull out of Afghanistan.”
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Cheney’s strong defense message was well received.
“There was a lot of rapt attention in the room,” he said.
Jonathan Strong contributed to this report.