Former Trump White House adviser Sebastian Gorka claims he and Steve Bannon were responsible for convincing former President Donald Trump to withdraw from the ill-fated Iran nuclear deal.
Gorka offered up the bombshell admission during a Newsmax discussion on Friday about the Biden administration’s recent strikes against Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria.
“One of my proudest career moments was when we had key members of the cabinet arrayed, including [Secretary of State] Rex Tillerson. We had the National Security Advisor [H.R.] McMaster in the Oval Office. And then President Trump summoned me and Steve Bannon. He called us his ‘heavies,'” he said.
“And [Trump] said, ‘Alright, my heavies. Explain to these men why the Iran deal – Obama’s JCPOA Iran deal – is bad.’ And we gave them the, you know, classic Washington elevator pitch. Sixty seconds from Steve, 60 seconds from me. ‘Why? It’s bad for America, bad for the globe, bad for the region, and bad for our closest friend in the region, Israel,'” he added.
“And then, what did President Trump do? He killed the Iran deal. And as you say, we sanctioned that regime to its knees. If President Trump had had a second term in 2021 that regime would have collapsed,” he concluded.
His point was that it was Trump’s tough, domineering approach toward Iran — one that Gorka says he and Bannon deserve some credit for — that kept the country in line and stopped it from attacking U.S. targets the way it’s been doing under the Biden administration.
Consider for instance how Trump responded when, in late 2019, Iranian-backed proxy groups stormed the U.S. embassy compound in Iraq and killed a U.S. contractor.
Days later, the U.S. military killed Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, on Trump’s orders, a move that sparked outrage from both Iran and American leftists.
Yet in response to the killing of Soleimani, Iran did practically nothing, save fire “some missiles at some empty sites,” according to conservative radio show host and commentator Ben Shapiro.
Why? Because they knew better than to mess with Trump.
“It turns out that if there is one party in the Middle East that wants a U.S.-Iran war less than the United States, it is Iran. Which is how deterrence works,” Shapiro explained in a recent column.
— Ed Harris (@EdHarri32050957) January 31, 2024
To President Joe Biden’s credit, he did finally order retaliatory strikes against Iranian-backed targets in Iraq and Syria late this week.
He announced the strikes after attending the transfer of the bodies of the three Army Reserve soldiers who were killed during a strike by Iran-backed militias last weekend on a U.S. base in Jordan.
“This afternoon, at my direction, U.S. military forces struck targets at facilities in Iraq and Syria that the IRGC and affiliated militia use to attack U.S. forces,” he said. “Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing.”
“The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But let all those who might seek to do us harm know this: If you harm an American, we will respond,” he added.
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) February 3, 2024
In a statement of his own, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin echoed the president’s insistence that this is just the beginning.
“This is the start of our response,” he said. “The president has directed additional actions to hold the IRGC and affiliated militias accountable for their attacks on U.S. and Coalition Forces. These will unfold at times and places of our choosing.”
“We do not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else, but the President and I will not tolerate attacks on American forces. We will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our forces, and our interests,” he added.
There was just one problem: The administration had been publicly telegraphing its plans for days, thus allowing Iran to prepare for the strikes.
“[A]fter Washington has hinted of retaliatory strikes for days, Iran-backed militant groups across the Middle East have had plenty of time to ready themselves,” even NBC News, a pro-Biden, left-wing outlet, admitted on Friday:
Lloyd Austin has given the Iranians more notice and head’s up on the pending attack than he gave his boss or the American people that he was going to be out of commission. Amazing the SecDef treats the Iranians with more transparency than he does the American people. https://t.co/21ADdSxvdZ
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 2, 2024
This is NOT how to lead with strength …
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