Sanders: Trump taking credit for easing tensions he helped create

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to call on 2020 Democrats to reject money from drug, health insurance industries The hidden connection between immigration and health care: Our long-term care crisis Harris tops Biden in California 2020 poll MORE (I-Vt.) knocked President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE's actions on Iran this week in an interview airing Sunday, accusing the president of pushing the U.S. to the brink of war and then taking credit for easing tensions.

In an interview airing Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation," Sanders likened Trump's strategy in the Middle East to wanting credit for a fire he set.

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"It's like somebody setting fire to a basket full of paper and then putting it out. He helped create the crisis, and then he stopped the attacks," Sanders told reporter Margaret Brennan.

Trump, he continued, thinks "that a war with Iran is something that might be good for this country" despite Trump's public rhetoric cautioning against such a conflict.

Sanders' remarks came after it was reported that the White House had ordered and then called off a so-called "limited" military strike on Iran, with news reports indicating that the president made the decision after learning of the attack's potential to kill as many as 150 Iranians.

When questioned about whether Sanders would support a "limited strike, the Vermont senator reportedly scoffed.

"Oh, just a limited strike. Oh, well, I'm sorry. I just didn't know that it's okay to simply attack another country with bombs," Sanders responded, according to a CBS News transcript. "Just a limited strike? That's an act of warfare."

In comments to reporters Saturday, Trump seemed to indicate that he credited Iran with choosing to avoid attacking a manned U.S. plane that was in the vicinity of an unmanned U.S. spy drone when Iranian forces downed the drone earlier this week.

“There was a plane with 38 people yesterday. Did you see that? I think that's a big story. They had it in their sights, and they didn't shoot it down. I think they were very wise not to do that. And we appreciate that they didn't do that. I think that was a very wise decision,” the president told reporters at the White House.