Warren demands explanation after MOAB strike

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Warren, Khanna request IG investigation into Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds MORE (D-Mass.) is challenging President Trump on his decision to drop the United States military's largest non-nuclear bomb during an operation in Afghanistan, questioning whether he has a strategy in the region.

"As is the case with every part of Trump’s foreign policy, we are all trying to understand: What is the strategy?" Warren told reporters Thursday night after a town hall event with constituents in Massachusetts. 

"If we can’t figure out what it means, it’s sort of hard to make that a message."


Warren, one of the most prominent lawmakers on the left, went on to add that the U.S. would need to discover how many civilians were killed in the explosion by the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, which reportedly has a blast radius of about 1 mile. 

"That's the real question of our future safety," Warren said, "Who is going to be out there fighting us in the future?"

A White House official criticized Warren's comments in a statement to The Hill.

"Senator Warren is either displaying a tremendous lack of understanding of how the U.S. military operates or that she intends to inject partisan grandstanding into our fight against ISIS. Both would be unfortunate, but not the least bit surprising," the official said. 

The official added that the president has told the Joint Chiefs of Staff that they have the authority to take necessary actions to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and that this was the right ordinance to use on the target to achieve the desired effect. 

The administration announced Thursday that the military had dropped the bomb, often referred to as the "Mother of all Bombs," during an operation in northeast Afghanistan meant to cripple a tunnel system being used by ISIS fighters.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters later that day that the military had taken steps to prevent civilian casualties, and an Afghan ministry spokesman reportedly said that no civilians had been hurt. 

Updated at 11:34 a.m.