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'RourkeDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Campaign dads fit fatherhood between presidential speeches MORE (D) denounced President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment 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 BoltonButtigieg: Iran situation 'disturbingly reminiscent' of lead-up to Iraq War Buttigieg: Iran situation 'disturbingly reminiscent' of lead-up to Iraq War Killing the messenger: Trump administration v. the intelligence community 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 PaulOvernight Defense: Pompeo blames Iran for oil tanker attacks | House panel approves 3B defense bill | Trump shares designs for red, white and blue Air Force One Senate rejects effort to block Trump's Qatar, Bahrain arms sales Senate rejects effort to block Trump's Qatar, Bahrain arms sales 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 PompeoTrump admin to discuss sending additional military force to Middle East amid Iran tensions: report Buttigieg: Iran situation 'disturbingly reminiscent' of lead-up to Iraq War Buttigieg: Iran situation 'disturbingly reminiscent' of lead-up to Iraq War 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.