Video footage of then-private citizen Donald Trump warning in 2011 that “our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate” resurfaced Thursday night after the U.S. assassinated Iran’s top military leader and six others in a drone strike in Baghdad, sparking fears of a catastrophic regional and possibly global conflict.
Trump, of course, was referring to former President Barack Obama, who he called “weak and ineffective” and accused of attempting to start a war with Iran to boost his reelection chances.
“So the only way he figures that he’s going to get reelected—and as sure as you’re sitting there—is to start a war with Iran,” Trump said at the time.
Obama went on to win reelection in 2012 without launching a war with Iran. In 2015, the U.S., Iran, and other major nations adopted the Iran nuclear agreement, which Trump effectively shredded last year.
Watch the clip, which Washington Post video editor J.M. Rieger tweeted Thursday night:
Trump on Nov. 16, 2011:
“Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He's weak and he's ineffective. So the only way he figures that he's going to get reelected — and as sure as you're sitting there — is to start a war with Iran.” pic.twitter.com/usZFLiHnBw
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) January 3, 2020
In his second tweet since the U.S. assassination of Qassem Soleimani—the first was an image of the American flag—Trump wrote that “Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!”
Critics voiced a mixture of alarm and confusion in response to the president’s brief statement. “Trump is just dropping vague, wrong, unhelpful comments into a tense and volatile situation,” said the Post‘s Josh Rogin.
Robert Maguire, research director with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, added, “The guy who sold himself as the greatest negotiator in history is tweeting about how hard it is to negotiate with the country he might have started a war with instead.”
If Democrats fight right-wing ‘fake news’ fire with fire, we all lose
Democrats are increasingly worried about losing the 2020 presidential election to Donald Trump. The party is in seeming disarray from the botched Iowa caucuses and the failure of an "electable" frontrunner to emerge early in the primary season. Trump's fundraising and digital operations are humming, buoyed in part by his acquittal at the Senate trial which refused to remove him from office for soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 elections and obstructing the House's investigation of it.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Nevada GOP activist reveals how he ‘caucused for Bernie’ to help Trump win: ‘It would be a dream election’
Conservative activist Chuck Muth said that he temporarily switched parties to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucuses.
Muth, who spoke to the Las Vegas Journal-Review while wearing a red Keep America Great hat, explained that he had crossed over to “vote for the weakest candidate possible of the Democrats.”
“It was kind of a way of demonstrating how absurd I think it is to have same-day registration as well as early voting for a caucus,” Muth explained. “So my wife and I last Sunday went to an early voting site, we changed parties right there on the spot. We caucused for Bernie.”
Soledad O’Brien shames 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey team for photo-op with Trump while wearing MAGA hats
In an early Sunday morning tweet, award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien expressed her dismay with members of the 1980 Gold Medal-winning Olympic hockey team for celebrating their historic win over the then-Soviet Union -- dubbed the "Miracle on Ice" -- with Donald Trump while wearing "Make America Great Again" hats.
According to O'Brien, seeing them hand Trump a photo-op filled her with "disappointment."
Taking to Twitter, she wrote, " Ugh.... so disappointed by the @1980MiracleTeam . I loved watching that game as a kid with my dad. Loved watching the movie with my kids. To see them on a stage, in maga hats—kinda crushing I have to say."