President Donald Trump described the thwarted attack on the American embassy in Iraq last week the “Anti-Benghazi” at a campaign rally on Thursday.
“We got there very quickly, this is just the exact opposite,” he said. “We did it exactly the opposite of Benghazi.”
Trump referred to the failed attempt by former President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to protect the American consulate in Benghazi from local militia who killed four Americans in 2012.
“All they saw when they got there days later were burning embers from days before,” Trump recalled about the Obama/Clinton response.
The president commented on the attacks during a campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio.
Trump said he moved quickly on the Iran-backed militia attacks on the American embassy in Baghdad.
The group broke into the reception area of the embassy, smashing windows and lighting it on fire, but they did not enter the embassy itself.
“That was going to be another Benghazi had they broken through the final panels of glass,” Trump said.
He estimated there would have been hundreds of dead people or hostages had the militants been able to breach the embassy.
“That wasn’t going to happen,” Trump said. “I called up our great generals and said, ‘Get them over there now.'”
The president said he demanded troops leave immediately to protect the embassy, even though he was told by one commander that he could send troops there the following morning.
“I said, ‘Nope, get in the planes right now, have them there immediately,” Trump said. “And they got there immediately.”
Trump said he ordered the airstrike on Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani for his support for the attacks on the United States Embassy in Iraq.
“Soleimani was actively planning new attacks and he was looking very seriously at our embassies and not just the embassy in Baghdad,” Trump said. “But we stopped him and we stopped him quickly, and we stopped him cold.”