Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) lambasted President Donald Trump for instigating the current crisis with Iran, saying the president’s strategy is akin to “setting fire to a basket full of paper and then putting it out.”
In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” which aired in full Sunday, Sanders was asked whether he believed Trump’s decision last week to call off a military strike against Iran was the “right one.”
Laughing, Sanders responded: “See, it’s like somebody setting fire to a basket full of paper and then putting it out. He helped create the crisis, and then he stopped the attacks.”
Trump, Sanders said, seems to think “that a war with Iran is something that might be good for this country.”
When host Margaret Brennan interjected to say that Trump had called the planned strike against Iran “limited,” Sanders replied sarcastically: “Oh, just a limited strike. Oh, well, I’m sorry. I just didn’t know that it’s OK to simply attack another country with bombs.”
“That’s an act of warfare,” Sanders stressed.
Sanders is among the two dozen Democratic presidential candidates who hope to topple Trump in 2020. He said he believes a war with Iran would be “even worse” than the Iraq War ― causing “more loss of life” and triggering “massive instability” in the region.
The senator promised that if he’s elected commander in chief he would “do everything I can, number one, to stop a war with Iran.”
Trump tweeted on Friday that the U.S. military had been “cocked & loaded” to attack Iran after the country shot down an American surveillance drone. But the president said he chose to scrap the offensive with just 10 minutes to spare after he learned that 150 people could be killed in the attack.
The potential fatalities did not seem “proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone,” the president tweeted, explaining his decision.
Several Democratic candidates for president have criticized Trump’s handling of the Iran crisis.