Former Vice President Joe Biden accused President at Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate of “flat-out” lying about the justification for killing Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
“What’s happened is, now that he’s gone ahead, the president, and started this whole process moving,” Biden said. “Quite frankly, I think he’s flat-out lied about saying the reason he went after — the reason he made the strike was because our embassies were about to be bombed.”
Last week, President Trump told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham in an exclusive interview that the imminent threat from Iran that provoked the United States to kill Soleimani involved planned attacks on four U.S. embassies.
“I can reveal that I believe it probably would’ve been four embassies,” Trump said.
When asked about the Obama-Biden administration not asking Congress for permission multiple times when it took military action, Biden defended the use of military force based on the 2002 authorization act.
“There was the authorization for the use of military force that was passed by the United States Congress, House, and Senate, and signed by the president,” Biden responded. “That was the authority. It does not give authority to go into Iran. It gave authority to deal with these other issues.”
Biden further criticized the president for pulling out of the Iran Deal and isolating the United States from its allies.
“Look what’s happened. [Trump] went ahead and it was predictable from the day he pulled out of the agreement, what exactly would happen. We’re now isolated,” Biden said. “We have lost our standing in the region. We have lost the support of our allies. The next president has to be able to pull those folks back together, re-establish our alliances, and insist that Iran go back into the agreement, which I believe with the pressure applied as we put on before, we can get done.”
In an op-ed published on CNN before the debate, Biden wrote that Trump’s “erratic actions” in Iran started from “the seeds of this crisis” when the Iran nuclear deal was “tore up.”
“President Donald Trump’s erratic actions have brought us to the brink of conflict with Iran,” Biden wrote. “The seeds of this crisis were planted by Trump himself on May 8, 2018 — the day he tore up he Iran nuclear deal against the advice of his own top national security advisers, turned his back on our closest European allies and decided it was more important to him to destroy progress made by the Obama-Biden administration than build on it to create a better and safer world.”
Biden continued, “Trump has no strategy here. No endgame. The only way out of this crisis is through diplomacy — clear-eyed, hard-nosed diplomacy grounded in strategy, that’s not about one-off decisions or one-upmanship. We need diplomacy that is designed to de-escalate the crisis, protect our people and secure our regional interests — including our counter-ISIS campaign.”