President Trump may well have chosen to order the killing of Iran's international military commander on Thursday, sharply escalating near-boiling tensions with Tehran because, as the Pentagon said, he wanted to "protect U.S. personnel abroad" by "deterring future attack plans" by Iran and its proxies, but his twitter feed suggests that's not the lens through which he views military strikes against Iran.
The president repeatedly predicted years ago that his predecessor would attack Iran in order to get re-elected. pic.twitter.com/9zGciVOCjy
When Trump was tweeting his prediction that then-President Barack Obama was gearing up to "attack Iran in order to get re-elected," Obama was actually secretly working on a deal with Iran, China, Russia, and European allies to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, actively de-escalating tensions with Tehran. Trump has decimated that deal, which he called terrible, paving the path toward today's U.S.-Iran antagonism.
Or, actually, it wasn't time. "This isn't like Christmas lights (which are lovely!) that are supposed to go up for all of December," tweeted Daniel Drezner, an international relations professor and Washington Post columnist. "You light the menorah for those eight nights." He also found this:
President Trump insisted this week that "everybody" knew his organization spent months during the 2016 election negotiating a "very cool" deal with Russia to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
But Trump has repeatedly downplayed his business relationship with Russia, which explains why his former attorney Michael Cohen said he felt he had to lie to Congress in order to "be consistent" with Trump's "political messaging." Here's an incomplete look at just some of those denials.
1. July 26, 2016: "I mean, I have nothing to do with Russia. I don't have any jobs in Russia. I'm all over the world but we're not involved in Russia," Trump tells CBS4.
2. July 26, 2016: "For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia," Trump tweets.
3. Oct. 6, 2016:During the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton says Russia is trying to help elect Trump, "maybe because he wants to do business in Moscow." Trump calls this assessment "so ridiculous," adding, "I know nothing about Russia ... I don't deal there."
4. Oct. 24, 2016: "I have nothing to do with Russia folks, I'll give you a written statement," Trump says at a campaign rally.
5. Jan. 11, 2017: Trump tells reporters that he has "no deals that could happen in Russia because we've stayed away," adding that he could "make deals in Russia very easily" but "I just don't want to because I think that would be a conflict."
6. Jan. 11, 2017: "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!," Trump tweets.
7. Feb. 7, 2017:Trump tweets, "I don't know Putin, have no deals in Russia, and the haters are going crazy."
8. May 11, 2017:Trump tells NBC News that he has "nothing to do with Russia," other than the fact that he "sold a house to a very wealthy Russian many years ago" and hosted the Miss Universe pageant there once. Brendan Morrow