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'RourkeCastro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates 2020 Democrats react to NYPD firing of officer in Garner case: 'Finally' Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls to appear in CNN climate town hall MORE (D) denounced President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems 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.

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"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 Robert BoltonSchumer joins Pelosi in opposition to post-Brexit trade deal that risks Northern Ireland accord Why President Trump must keep speaking out on Hong Kong Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan 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 PaulGraham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020 Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Rand Paul to 'limit' August activities due to health 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 PompeoCotton warns China: Crackdown on Hong Kong would be 'grave miscalculation' Pompeo expresses concern over North Korea missile tests Pompeo acknowledges 'places where ISIS is more powerful today' 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.