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McConnell: Pelosi Blaming U.S. ‘Provocations’ for Iranian Aggression Is ‘Nonsense’

By Craig Bannister | January 8, 2020 | 12:16pm EST
Sen. Mitch McConnell (Getty Images/Brendan Smialowski/AFP)

“I had planned to discuss the corrosive political games that the Speaker of the House continues to play with the solemn issue of presidential impeachment,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday, turning his attention instead to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) insinuation that the U.S. is responsible for provoking Tuesday’s Iranian missile attack on U.S. bases in Baghdad, Iraq.

The attack has put “political squabbles” on hold, McConnell said:

“I had planned to discuss the corrosive political games that the Speaker of the House continues to play with the solemn issue of presidential impeachment.

“But the deadly serious events of yesterday evening threw those political squabbles into the starkest possible relief.

“I was troubled, but not surprised, by reports that Iran fired ballistic missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq last night.  As I have warned, the threat posed by Iran has been growing for years, and this threat will continue even beyond the death of Tehran’s master terrorist, Qassem Soleimani.”

McConnell called it troubling “nonsense” for Pelosi to claim that Trump Administration “provocations” are to blame for the attack – since Iran has been attacking the U.S. for the past 40 years:

“It troubled me that Speaker Pelosi responded to the earliest reports yesterday by leaping to blame, quote, ‘needless provocations’ by our administration. In other words, blaming the United States.

“So let’s be clear: we can and should debate how to responsibly respond to Iranian threats. But, the notion that our administration is to blame for Iranian aggression is nonsense.

“For 40 years -- since the founding of the Islamic Republic -- Iran has consistently pursued aggression against the United States. Against Israel. Against its Arab neighbors.

“The question before us is not who is to blame for this aggression. It is how to best deter and defend against it.”

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