O'Rourke: Trump 'provoking' war with Iran by sending troops to Middle East

O'Rourke: Trump 'provoking' war with Iran by sending troops to Middle East
© Greg Nash

Presidential hopeful Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBeto O'Rourke calls Texas GOP 'a death cult' over coronavirus response Hegar, West to face off in bitter Texas Senate runoff Bellwether counties show trouble for Trump MORE (D) denounced President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE's announcement that the U.S. will send 1,500 troops to the Middle East on Saturday and questioned the administration's claim of a threat from Iranian forces to U.S. forces already stationed in the area.

The former congressman told CBS's Margaret Brennan in an interview airing Sunday that the president's decision to send troops to the region to counter a supposed threat from Iranian-backed forces would only provoke conflict and draw the U.S. into war.

ADVERTISEMENT

"President Trump is escalating tensions, is provoking yet another war in the Middle East, where we find ourselves already engaged in war in so many countries — in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen, not too far from there in Libya and in Afghanistan," O'Rourke told CBS.

"We don't need another war. We need to find a way to work with allies and partners and in some cases with our enemies," the Texas Democrat continued.

Pointing to aides of the president, including national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Speculation over Biden's running mate announcement Ex-Trump adviser, impeachment witness Fiona Hill gets book deal Hannity's first book in 10 years debuts at No. 1 on Amazon MORE, who has a reputation for a hawkish stance toward Iran, O'Rourke said that the White House risked sending the U.S. to war over "misconstrued" facts.

"I have a really hard time believing this administration and believing a president who has so wantonly lied and misconstrued the facts at every single turn to his own gain.  I'm suspicious of a national security team that has so often called for war," O'Rourke said.

"You have someone in Bolton, who has publicly said that he wants regime change in Iran," he added, predicting that a war with the country would leave hundreds of thousands dead.

His comments echoed those of Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWatchdog calls for probe into Gohmert 'disregarding public health guidance' on COVID-19 Massie plans to donate plasma after testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies After trillions in tax cuts for the rich, Republicans refuse to help struggling Americans MORE (R-Ky.), a skeptic of foreign intervention, who called on the president to reconsider his announcement on Friday while urging Trump not to listen to "neocons" close to him, a clear reference to Bolton and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoEngel: IG report shows Pompeo's 'sham' use of emergency declaration in arms sales Overnight Defense: Trump pushed to restore full National Guard funding | Watchdog faults Pompeo on civilian risk of Saudi arms sales Pelosi on 'disturbing situation' in Hong Kong: 'The world is watching' MORE.

“This escalation doesn’t get us out of our decades long, seemingly endless wars Mr. President. Trust your instincts and follow what you ran on, not the neocons around who want to repeat past mistakes,” Paul tweeted.