“We don’t need another war,” Beto O’Rourke said. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said sending more troops to the Middle East is “provoking yet another war.”
“President Trump is escalating tensions, is provoking yet another war in the Middle East where we find ourselves already engaged in war in so many countries: In Iraq in Syria in Yemen, not too far from there in Libya and in Afghanistan. So, we don’t need another war,” the former Texas lawmaker told Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” in an interview to be aired Sunday. Story Continued Below
The Trump administration approved nearly 1,000 troops to be deployed to the Middle East on Friday as tensions between Tehran and the U.S. are heightened and as fear of retaliation through proxies increases.
Last year the Trump administration withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement negotiated during the Obama administration.
When asked by Brennan whether he believed intelligence that says Iran presents a threat to ground troops, O’Rourke said he is “suspicious of a national security team that has so often called for war.”
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“I have a really hard time believing this administration and believing a president who has so wantonly lied and misconstrued the facts at every single turn to his own gain,” O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke continued: “You have someone in Bolton, who has publicly said that he wants regime change in Iran. The body count — in that kind of war — on both sides will not be measured in the hundreds or the thousands, but the tens or hundreds of thousands.”
National security adviser John Bolton announced earlier this month that deployed Navy forces are meant to send a “clear and unmistakable message” to Iran.
Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan told POLITICO on Friday that the deployment is defensive and meant for “force protection.”
On Sunday, Trump threatened the Iranian government on Twitter, saying that a military conflict between the two countries “will be the official end of Iran.”
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