A Republican congressman said this week that a recent ISIS attack in Iran could be a “good thing” and even suggested that the U.S. government support ISIS for attacking other terrorist groups.

Rep. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherOn The Trail: The political losers of 2020 California was key factor in House GOP's 2020 success GOP's Steel wins California House race after Democrat Rouda concedes MORE (R-Calif.) said during a House hearing on Hezbollah “isn’t a good thing for us to have the United States finally backing up Sunnis who will attack Hezbollah and the Shiite threat to us?”

“Isn’t that a good thing?” he said. “And if so, maybe this is a Trump — maybe it’s a Trump strategy of actually supporting one groups against another, considering that you have two terrorist organizations.

Rohrabacher's comments came after attackers in Tehran stormed the parliament building and a shire of the country’s first Supreme Leader Wednesday, leaving at least 17 dead and dozens injured.


Matthew Levitt, the director of The Washington Institute’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, pushed back against Rohrabacher at the hearing, saying that ISIS had claimed credit for the attack.

“It’s never in our interest to support a terrorist group like the Islamic State,” Levitt said. “We should condemn the attacks in Tehran, as we would condemn any act of terrorism, even as we hold Iran accountable for its sponsorship of terrorism.”

“So that’s like Joe Stalin was a horrible guy, we must never associate with horrible guys like that, even against Hitler,” Rohrabacher said. “And so maybe it’s a good idea to have radical Muslim terrorists fighting each other. I’ll leave it at that.”

The Trump administration's statement responding to the Tehran attack said that "states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote." Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad-Zarif tweeted that the response was "repugnant."