President Joe Biden and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki are receiving backlash for past tweets attacking the Trump administration’s Middle East airstrikes after Biden approved bombardments on Syria Thursday.
In 2017, Psaki questioned the legality of airstrikes launched by the Trump administration.
“What is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country,” Psaki wrote on Twitter in April, 2017.
In April 2017, the Trump administration launched airstrikes against Syria in retaliation for an earlier chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians.
On Thursday, the Biden administration launched attacks on Iran-backed militia groups in Syria, killing 22 Iran-backed fighters.
Thursday’s strike came in response to an attack last week by Iran-backed militants on an Iraqi airbase used by the US military, which killed one US military contractor and wounded nine other people.
The strike destroyed “multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups,” according to a statment by the Pentagon. It described the strike as “defensive.”
Former Trump administration official Richard Grenell tweeted, “Today is a Circle Back day…” in response to Psaki’s tweet.
Sen. Rand Paul wrote, “I condemn meddling in Syria’s civil war. I also condemn attacking a sovereign nation without authority. What authority does @POTUS have to strike Syria?”
“Great question,” Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar wrote.
In 2019, Biden called Trump “erratic” and “impulsive” after it was reported that Trump had considered air strikes on Iran.
“Trump’s erratic, impulsive actions are the last thing we need as Commander-in-Chief. No president should order a military strike without fully understanding the consequences. We don’t need another war in the Middle East, but Trump’s actions toward Iran only make that more likely,” Biden wrote.
Newsmax contributor Jessie Jane Duff asked, “Did you forget to delete this before you bombed Syria?”
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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Rep. Patrick McHenry Announces Retirement, Adding to Congressional Exodus
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has declared that he will not seek re-election, becoming the latest in a growing list of lawmakers departing from Congress. McHenry, a close ally of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, stated that he believes “there is a season for everything,” signaling the end of his tenure in the House. Having served since 2005, McHenry is the 37th member of Congress to announce they won’t seek re-election in 2024.
In a statement, McHenry reflected on the significance of the House of Representatives in the American political landscape, calling it the “center of our American republic.” He acknowledged the concerns about the future of the institution due to multiple departures but expressed confidence that new leaders would emerge and guide the House through its next phase.
The departure of McHenry and others comes against the backdrop of political shifts and challenges within the Republican Party. The GOP has faced setbacks in recent elections, including fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Internal strife and disagreements, exemplified by the rebellion against McCarthy, have characterized the party’s dynamics. The GOP’s approval rating stands at 30%, with a disapproval rating of 66%, reflecting the challenges and divisions within the party.
As McHenry steps aside, questions loom over the fate of open seats in the upcoming election. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report identifies five open House seats as potential Democrat pickup opportunities, while none are listed for the GOP. The departures raise concerns about the party’s unity and ability to navigate the evolving political landscape.
With a total of 20 departing Democratic legislators and 10 Republicans, the changing composition of Congress adds complexity to the political dynamics leading up to the 2024 elections. As McHenry emphasizes a hopeful view of the House’s future, the evolving political landscape will determine the impact of these departures on the balance of power in Congress.
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