Two Democrats with United States military experience who are vying for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination shifted the focus of the race to foreign policy yesterday, criticizing President Donald Trump for escalating tensions with Iran that could lead to war.
The relationship between Washington and Tehran has become increasingly strained in recent weeks, raising concerns about a potential U.S.-Iran conflict. Trump and hawkish foreign policy advisers like national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo want Tehran to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Trump has tightened economic sanctions against Iran, aimed at forcing its leaders into negotiations. Pompeo last year outlined a list of demands on Iran that critics said showed he was pushing for regime change.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard, one of 24 Democrats vying for the White House nomination, said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that Trump was “leading us down this dangerous path towards a war with Iran.”
“He says he doesn’t want it, but the actions of him and his administration, people like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, tell us a very different story. They are setting the stage for a war with Iran that would prove to be far more costly, far more devastating and dangerous than anything that we saw in the Iraq war,” Gabbard said.
Trump has said he is not pushing for war with Iran. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he promised to stay out of overseas conflicts, saying the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were too costly.
Meanwhile, a Republican congressman has called for the impeachment of Trump.
Justin Amash becomes the first Republican to do so. He claimed Trump had “engaged in specific actions” that “meet the threshold for impeachment”. Mr Amash accused Attorney General William Barr of misleading the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings on Russian interference.
The president responded by calling Amash “a total lightweight” who was attempting to make a name for himself. Mr Mueller’s report found no criminal conspiracy between Trump’s 2016 election campaign and Russia. However it did find 10 instances where Trump possibly attempted to impede the investigation.