Trump repeatedly said Obama would start war with Iran to get elected
President Trump repeatedly suggested before he was elected to the White House that then-President Obama would start a war with Iran to get reelected.
Trump’s remarks have won renewed attention in the wake of the Thursday night airstrike he authorized that killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the powerful Iranian military commander who led the elite Quds Force.
The strikes, which come amid high U.S.-Iranian tensions and a month before the Iowa caucuses, took place in an election year for Trump.
Trump on Friday said Soleimani should have been taken out years ago in another shot at his predecessors in the White House.
“General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more…but got caught! He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself,” Trump tweeted Friday morning.
Trump has frequently criticized Obama’s policies toward Iran, and he withdrew the United States from the international nuclear deal that was a high point of the Obama foreign policy.
Even before Obama’s second term, Trump had suggested that Obama would attack Iran to try to secure four more years in office.
“@BarackObama will attack Iran in the not too distant future because it will help him win the election,” Trump tweeted on Nov. 14, 2011.
Days later, he said, “Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He’s weak and he’s ineffective. So the only way he figures that he’s going to get reelected — and as sure as you’re sitting there — is to start a war with Iran,” according to a video posted this week by a Washington Post video editor.
“In order to get elected, @BarackObama will start a war with Iran,” he followed up on Nov. 29, 2011.
Nearly a year later, on Oct. 22, 2012, Trump repeated the same claim, writing, “Don’t let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected — be careful Republicans!”
In October 2012, Trump also suggested that Obama would “launch a strike in Libya or Iran” because his “poll numbers are in tailspin.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2011
These quotes were repeatedly mentioned on social media Thursday night and Friday morning and also received some attention on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and other cable news programs.
Trump faces reelection next year, and his decision to authorize the airstrike that killed Soleimani, as well as a leader of an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq, was hailed by Republicans. They said Trump has previously shown restraint in the face of reckless actions by Iran, and that their latest attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq left no choice.
The Pentagon said the attack was made to help protect military personnel abroad.
Democrats have criticized the strikes as a massive escalation with Iran and have also faulted the administration for not consulting with Congress.
The attacks drew some some comparisons online to the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011 in a military operation ordered by Obama. The successful operation has been credited with helping Obama’s reelection in 2012.
Conservatives who hailed the killing of Soleimani said Americans should be similarly united behind the Trump-ordered airstrike.
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