Senator says Trump is probably lying like Bush did to bring US into war with Iraq
When President George W. Bush asked Congress to authorize military force in Iraq in 2002, Sen. Sherrod Brown said he voted no because he believed the administration was lying.
As the U.S. conflict with Iran simmers following retaliatory strikes in response to the killing of Iran Gen. Qasem Suleimani, Brown said he sees similarities with the lead-up to that war.
“Back then we clearly had an administration hellbent on going to war. They made up information. They told us things that weren’t true,” Brown said of the 2002 vote.
“This president has had a history of lying … It’s hard to trust him when he chose Putin over American intelligence a number of times on what has happened in America and Russia.”
Any major action by a president should be viewed with skepticism by Congress, Brown said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday, but Trump deserves special scrutiny because of his history
As of Dec. 10, Trump had made about 15,000 false statements during his presidency, according to The Washington Post.
During a nationally televised address Wednesday, Trump touted the U.S. military might but noted “we do not want to use it.”
He also promised that Iran would not get a nuclear weapon as long as he is president. Trump has long criticized a 2015 deal between Iran and five other countries, including the U.S., to limit the country’s nuclear activity. The U.S. pulled out of that deal in 2018.
Brown said that deal was a successful deterrent to keeping nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands, and he questioned Trump’s ability to negotiate similar deals with Iran and other countries. Other world leaders, including North Korean President Kim Jong-Un, have been able to “outfox” Trump, he said.
Pulling out of the deal “really began the clock ticking on where we are now. Iran increased its activities as a result, nuclear and otherwise,” he said.
Trump and Congress will navigate the conflict with Iran as impeachment looms. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not delivered articles of impeachment to the Senate, and the Senate hasn’t adopted rules yet for a trial.
Senate Democrats have demanded the ability to call witnesses, and former National Security Adviser John Bolton has said he would comply with a subpoena to testify. But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he had enough votes to start the trial without an agreement on witnesses, a position that jibes with Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman’s.
Brown said he wants to hear Trump’s defense as well as witnesses from his administration who were told not to testify during the House inquiry.
“All of us in this country know that to have a fair trial, you need the prosecution, you need the defense, and you need witnesses and you need documentation. When one or both sides of a court proceeding ask for witnesses and and ask for documents, we all know it’s not a fair trial unless you get them,” he said.
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