- Republicans and former Trump administration officials criticized President Joe Biden after U.S. forces carried out air strikes in response to a fatal Jan. 28 drone attack.
- Several accused the Biden administration of “telegraphing” the strikes on the targets.
- “He waited way too long,” one former Trump administration official said.
Republicans and former Trump administration officials ripped the Biden administration on Friday for delaying retaliatory airstrikes against Iran-backed targets in Iraq and Syria in response to a drone attack on Sunday that killed three American soldiers in Jordan.
United States military forces carried out retaliatory strikes on dozens of targets related to Iranian-backed militias Friday following the death of three American soldiers in a Sunday drone attack. Some Republicans criticized President Joe Biden for providing the militias with warnings about the response.
“So we are bombing Syria & Iraq after telegraphing, Iran moved anyone that matters, but we left our troops in the same locations so Iran can still strike us when they want,” Republican congressional candidate Joe Kent of Washington, a former Green Beret, posted on X. “Congress should put a resolution on the floor to pull our troops out immediately. See who wants to put their name on leaving our troops as bait.”
So we are bombing Syria & Iraq after telegraphing, Iran moved anyone that matters, but we left our troops in the same locations so Iran can still strike us when they want.
Congress should put a resolution on the floor to pull our troops out immediately. See who wants to put…
— Joe Kent for WA-3 (@joekent16jan19) February 2, 2024
“The Biden administration spent nearly a week foolishly telegraphing U.S. intentions to our adversaries, giving them time to relocate and hide,” Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi said in a statement given to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It is past time for our commander-in-chief to adopt a new approach that targets the actual sponsors of terrorism in the region.”
Other Republicans and former Trump administration officials made similar statements in media appearances.
“These are late. They should have been done more decisively as President Trump did,” Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney of New York told Fox Business host Larry Kudlow. “But, you know, it’s the policy that President Biden has taken towards Iran to try to get back into the failed nuclear agreement, also to allow sanctions to be lifted on the Iranians so they can sell up to 80-$90 billion worth of oil mostly to China, by the way.”
“Unfortunately, we put ourselves in such a bad position against Iran that we need to come back with much more aggressive force,” Tenney added.
Republican Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, who appeared with Tenney, called for a resumption of economic sanctions against Iran.
“You have to cut the Iranians off economically,” Donalds told Kudlow. “Donald Trump had them cut off economically. He had them really having to scrap things together for that economy, and they couldn’t put money into these proxy fighters throughout the Middle East.”
“We must continue to ramp up the pressure on Iran and its terror groups across the Middle East,” Republican Rep. Mike Lawler of New York said in a statement. “However, these efforts must include additional sanctions on Iranian oil, which is what allows Iran to fund its campaign of violence and terror across the region.”
Retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, who served as an advisor to former Vice President Mike Pence during the Trump administration, questioned if the strikes would deter future attacks.
“It’s not going to be sufficient and I think I would caution everybody, this isn’t a time when you rip your shirt off and beat your chest that this is really cool because it shouldn’t be numbers, it should be what happens is the consequences from your attack,” Kellogg told Kudlow. “And look, what we’ve given the Iranians is a sanctuary. I’ve been through a sanctuary war before back in the years of Vietnam when Cambodia was a sanctuary, North Vietnam was a sanctuary. You allow a sanctuary, he’ll retreat, move back in there and respond later on.”
Kellogg criticized Biden for the delay in the strikes.
“Those packages were there, it just took presidential authority, and that’s who does it, to say go,” Kellogg said. “And he waited way too long. In fact, those aircraft, from what I understand, the B-1 bombers that took off came out of the United States, they lifted off this morning. They could have lifted off two days ago, three days ago.”
Iranian-backed militias have carried out over 150 attacks since Hamas launched a deadly terrorist attack on multiple locations in southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing over 1,200 people and taking over 200 hostages, Reuters reported, including the use of ballistic missiles and drones.
“Finally,” Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa posted. “Iran needs to know the price for American lives.”
One Republican questioned if Biden had authorization to launch the strikes.
Once again, this President has circumvented Congress and put our troops in danger.
One soldier’s life lost is one too many, let alone three.
Our troops need to come home. Our president needs to follow the constitution.
— Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) February 2, 2024
“Once again, this President has circumvented Congress and put our troops in danger,” Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina posted on X. “One soldier’s life lost is one too many, let alone three. Our troops need to come home. Our president needs to follow the constitution.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.
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