Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who has sharply criticized the president’s decision to eliminate Iran’s top terror chief, Qasem Soleimani, took a different position following the death of al-Qaeda’s Abu Yahya al-Libi, at which time he praised former President Obama’s “bold & decisive” drone strike policy.
Schumer took issue with Trump’s decisive military action, which resulted in the elimination of the Iranian terror chief, who approved of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and was actively planning additional attacks on American diplomats and U.S. service members, according to the Pentagon.
Schumer said on the Senate floor on Friday:
The administration did not consult in this case, and I fear that those very serious questions have not been answered and may not be fully considered. Among those questions: What was the legal basis for conducting this operation? And how far does that legal basis extend?
The minority leader detailed his fears of another “endless war” during an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday and continued to criticize the president’s decisive actions.
Let’s face it — this president has made a mess of foreign policy. North Korea, they’re much stronger than they were when he started. In Syria, he messed up. Every encounter he has with Putin, he loses. So I’m really worried, and that’s why Congress must assert itself.
“I don’t believe the president has authority to go to war in Iraq without congressional approval,” he continued, calling Trump’s foreign policy “erratic and unsuccessful thus far.”
“I’ll do everything I can to assert our authority. We don’t need this president either bumbling or impulsively getting us into a major war,” he added.
“The reason the Founding Fathers said Congress had to okay it is because it’s a check on a president who’s doing so many wrong things,” he said.
However, Schumer struck a different tone in 2012 following the news of a U.S. drone strike that eliminated senior al-Qaeda figure Abu Yahya al-Libi.
“Killing of Abu Yahya al-Libi is a huge blow to al Qaeda & evidence that President Obama’s bold & decisive drone strike policy is working,” Schumer tweeted in the summer of 2012:
Killing of Abu Yahya al-Libi is a huge blow to al Qaeda & evidence that President Obama’s bold & decisive drone strike policy is working
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 5, 2012
Many users mocked Schumer for the tweet, which stands in stark contrast to his current position.
“Chuck. What’s the difference,” one asked. “So blatantly biased.”
“Bold and decisive, you don’t say? @realDonaldTrump,” another mused.
“What happened, Chuck?” another asked.
U.S. officials announced the death of a terrorist leader who was eliminated in an airstrike in Pakistan in June 2012.
As BBC reported at the time:
The White House says Libi’s death deals a heavy blow to al-Qaeda’s operations as he played a critical role in the group’s planning against the West.
“There is no-one who even comes close in terms of replacing the expertise al-Qaeda has just lost,” one US official said.
The official added that al-Qaeda’s leadership “will be hard-pressed to find any one person who can readily step into [Libi’s] shoes.”
Washington believes that following Osama Bin Laden’s death last year, Libi, an Islamic scholar from Libya, became al-Qaeda’s second-in-command after Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zawahiri.
On Sunday, Schumer wrote a letter to the president, demanding he “immediately declassify the War Powers Notification” sent to Congress:
Immediately declassify the War Powers Notification you sent to Congress.
It is critical that national security matters of such import be shared with the American people.
There appears to be no legitimate justification for classifying this notification. pic.twitter.com/zoczfePEjl
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 6, 2020