Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden is revising his story about his role in the Obama administration’s hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, according to a new report.
In the context of the drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Biden was asked what he would do in similar circumstances to those faced by President Donald Trump.
“As commander in chief, if you were ever handed a piece of intelligence that said you could stop an imminent attack on Americans — but you have to use an airstrike to take out a terrorist leader — would you pull the trigger?” Biden was asked by a Fox News reporter.
“Well we did — the guy’s name was Osama bin Laden,” Biden replied.
“Didn’t you tell President Obama not to go after bin Laden that day?” Biden was then asked.
“No, I didn’t,” Biden said.
However, in 2012, Biden said he had spoken out against the 2011 raid that killed bin Laden.
“The president, he went around the table, with all the senior people, including the … chiefs of staff,” Biden said, according to a video of his comments.
“Every single person in that room hedged their bet,” Biden said, except for then-CIA Director Leon Panetta, who wanted the attack to go forward.
“I said, you know, I didn’t know we had so many economists around the table,” Biden said.
“I said, ‘We owe the man a direct answer. Mr. President, my suggestion is: Don’t go. We have to see two more things to see if he’s there.'”
The Republican National Committee said Friday that Biden was guilty of more than a slip of the tongue.
“This isn’t another instance of Joe Biden misspeaking, it’s an instance of Biden flat-out lying,” spokesman Steve Guest told Fox.
As the Washington Examiner reported, Biden in 2015 claimed he never argued against going forward with the raid, saying that it was worth having a drone inspect the site one more time before a decision was made.
“[A]s we walked out of the room and walked upstairs, I told him my opinion, that I thought he should go but follow his own instincts,” Biden said in 2015.
On Friday, Biden also spoke out about the drone strike that killed Soleimani, who was the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force.
“No matter how rightly reviled he was in the West, he was a senior figure in the Iranian government,” Biden said, speaking of Soleimani.
Biden also criticized Trump’s strategy in the region.
“I don’t know and you don’t know what the hell he’s done,” Biden told Fox.
“We don’t know if he’s coordinated with our allies, we have no idea what commitments he’s made, we have no idea. I just hope he has a plan for second and third iterations of this — but it’s clear there’s going to have to be more folks there to protect the embassy, to protect American personnel in Iraq.”
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