Senator Elizabeth Warren found herself in the hot seat on “The View” when Meghan McCain confronted her about her “flip-flop” on Iran general Qasem Soleimani.
The Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 presidential hopeful claimed that her conflicting statements following the U.S. strike against the Iranian military leader were not necessarily a “change” despite what critics, even on the left, were saying.
(Video: YouTube/The View)
McCain challenged Warren on “The View” Tuesday, reminding her of her own words in her initial statement about the strike, describing the Revolutionary Guards commander as a “murderer.” But in follow-up remarks, the Massachusetts senator then referred to the Trump-ordered drone strike that killed Soleimani as an “assassination.”
“This is a man who obviously is responsible for hundreds of American troops’ deaths, carnage that we can’t even imagine,” McCain said, noting that the Treasury Department and the State Department have designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. as a terrorist organization.
“I don’t understand the flip-flop. I don’t understand why it was so hard to call him a terrorist, and I would just like you to explain,” she said to Warren who reiterated her respect for the U.S. Military.
“This isn’t a change,” Warren offered as a response. “They’re true. The question is: What is the response that the President of the United States should make? And what advances the interests of the United States of America?”
But McCain wasn’t satisfied with the Democrat’s dodge of the question, asking her again, “Is he a terrorist?”
“He’s part of a group that—” Warren began.
“Is he a terrorist?” she asked again, as Warren, once again, started to say “he’s part of a group—”
“So, he’s not a terrorist,” McCain concluded, cutting Warren off.
“Of course he is!” the 2020 contender finally exclaimed, but still tried to keep the focus on Trump.
“He’s part of a group that has been designated a terrorist. The question though, is what’s the right response? And the response that Donald Trump has picked is the most incendiary, and has moved us right to the edge of war, and that is not in our long-term interests,” she said.
During a Sunday appearance on CNN, Warren used the same ply: offering little to no criticism of Iran’s terrorism mastermind while blasting the president for ordering the strike.
Elizabeth Warren won’t say one bad word about Soleimani, calls him “a government official, a high ranking military official,” then pivots to Ukraine. @CNNSotu
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) January 5, 2020
Elizabeth Warren on the Qasem Soleimani strike: “I think that the question that we ought to focus on is why now? Why not a month ago and why not a month from now? And the answer from the administration seems to be that they can’t keep their story straight on this.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/z1stQEjuOu
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) January 5, 2020
And she dodged the question about her flip-flop again while speaking to ABC News.
— Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou (@misyrlena) January 4, 2020
CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza had also called attention to Warren’s remarks in a column published Monday.
Warren, Jan 2: Soleimani is a “murderer”
Warren, Jan 3: U.S. “assassinated” Soleimani
Warren, Jan. 5: Soleimani is “a government official, a high-ranking military official” https://t.co/Bz8Squds0c
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) January 6, 2020
“Which, wow. We went from ‘murderer’ to ‘wag the dog’ in the space of a few days,” Cillizza wrote. “Which is mind-bending. And confusing.”
He suggested that Warren changed her choice of words when she did not get the reaction she wanted from the left.
“And she needs those voters to have a chance at winning the Democratic presidential nomination this year,” he wrote, to immediate backlash from liberals.
Meanwhile, over at CNN, anchor John King found Warren’s encounter with McCain and her refusal to call the Iranian leader a terrorist was just “odd.”
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 7, 2020
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