Joe Biden is adamant about one detail in the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden in 2011.
But that detail is a complete about-face from the former vice president’s previous statements recounting how he told then-President Barack Obama not to launch the raid by US Special Forces that took out the Al Qaeda leader.
(Video: Fox News)
Biden denied that he advised Obama against the mission during a brief exchange with Fox News’ Peter Doocy in Iowa on Friday, reacting to the airstrike ordered by President Trump that killed Iranian military leader, Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
“As commander in chief, if you were ever handed a piece of intelligence that said you could stop an imminent attack on Americans — but you have to use an airstrike to take out a terrorist leader — would you pull the trigger?” the Fox News correspondent asked Biden.
“Well we did – the guy’s name was Osama bin Laden,” the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate replied with a slight smile as he turned away to board his campaign bus.
“Didn’t you tell President Obama not to go after bin Laden that day?” Doocy pressed.
“No, I didn’t,” Biden responded.
But he told a very different tale eight years ago as he recounted the discussions ahead of the moment Navy SEALs ultimately raided bin Laden’s Pakistan compound.
“Mr. President, my suggestion is, don’t go — we have to do two more things to see if he’s there,” Biden had said in January 2012, telling congressional Democrats during a Maryland retreat about the strategy session when he was vice president.
FLASHBACK: In 2012, Biden said he was opposed to Bin Laden raid: “Mr. President, my suggestion is don’t go” pic.twitter.com/sdJRG55o7m
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) January 3, 2020
The Democrat was accused of “flat-out lying” by the Republican National Committee on Friday.
“This isn’t another instance of Joe Biden misspeaking, it’s an instance of Biden flat-out lying,” spokesman Steve Guest said.
In the Dubuque campaign event on Friday, Biden had criticized Trump’s decision on Thursday to order the airstrike that killed the Iranian military commander.
“No matter how rightly reviled he was in the West, he was a senior figure in the Iranian government,” Biden said.
He called into question whether it was even wise for Trump to be ordering more U.S. troops into the Middle East region, following last weekend’s assault on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.
“I don’t know and you don’t know what the hell he’s done,” Biden told Doocy.
“We don’t know if he’s coordinated with our allies, we have no idea what commitments he’s made, we have no idea,” he said. “I just hope he has a plan for second and third iterations of this — but it’s clear there’s going to have to be more folks there to protect the embassy, to protect American personnel in Iraq.”
Back in 1996, then-Sen. Biden had declared that the U.S. could and should respond with force if necessary to the “act of war” after a deadly bombing that was orchestrated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
SPOTTED: I agree with 1996 Joe Biden, just as I did in this video segment. https://t.co/aKvlDTprJU
— Retired Orrin G. Hatch (@RetiredOrrin) January 4, 2020
Democrats have been in a tailspin over Trump’s decision to “assassinate” the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force who was reportedly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S troops and was, according to the Pentagon, “actively developing plans to attack” Americans.
Biden’s 2020 Democratic opponents also hit back at the president on the campaign trail, criticizing the airstrike even though they each acknowledged that Soleimani had American “blood on his hands.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted that it was “beyond comprehension” that some would be criticizing Trump for “their own political reasons” even as people in Iraq were celebrating Soleimani’s death.
When you see Iraqis celebrating in the streets because the United States has brought justice to Iran’s ethnic cleansing terror chief, it is beyond comprehension that some here in DC would criticize @realDonaldTrump for their own political reasons.pic.twitter.com/LNBfGhZWGY
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 3, 2020
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