Wednesday on CNN following President Barack Obama’s prime time address, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Obama administration press secretary Jay Carney got into a heated exchange over Obama’s responsibility in allowing ISIS to grow in Iraq and Syria over the last two years.
McCain laid into Carney right away over the presidents refusal to aim the Syria rebels up to this point saying, “I’m astounded that Mr. Carney should say that the Free Syrian Army is now stronger.”
When Carney attempted to interrupt, McCain insisted, “Come on, Jay, we knew all about them then. You just didn’t choose to know. I was there in Syria We we knew about them in Syria. Your boss, when the entire national security team wanted to arm and train them that he turned them down, Mr. Carney.”
“Facts are stubborn things,” he continued. “The entire team, including the Secretary of State said he want to arm and equip these people and he made the unilateral decision to turn them down. The fact he didn’t ld residual force in Iraq, is the reason we’re facing ISIS today. So the facts are stubborn things in history, and people ought to know them.”
“You are saying facts that patently false. Lindsey Graham and I, we were in Baghdad, they wanted a residual force,” McCain added. “The president has never made a statement during that or after that he wanted a residual force left behind. The Iraqis were ready to go. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the number cascaded down to 3,500. That was not sufficient to do anything but to defend themselves. And you in your role as a spokesperson bragged about the fact that the last American combat troop had left Iraq. If we had left a residual force the situation would not be what it is today.”
“It is not a matter of disagreement. It is a matter of facts. And you have yours wrong and you distorted,” he said.
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