Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney commended President Biden for the “relatively effective” decision to launch retaliatory strikes Friday after three U.S. military members were killed in an attack by Iran last week.
“You can be critical of the way they’ve handled the Iran nuclear deal. You can be critical of the way they’ve allowed Iran to build up their foreign currency reserves. You can be critical of a bunch of different things,” Mulvaney, a NewsNation contributor, told host Chris Stirewalt on Friday. “You can do a whole litany of them but at the same time, what’s wrong with waiting to have an opinion on this?”
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said it began airstrikes around 4 p.m. EST Friday in Iraq and Syria against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and “affiliated militia groups.”
Mulvaney was taking issue with the critics who were against Biden’s decision to fire the retaliatory strikes. Some people are worried that the strikes will drag the U.S. into a larger regional war in the Middle East, while critics, including House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), were critical of his decision to wait so long to respond.
“Everybody wanted President Biden to do something. He did something. It seems to be relatively effective tonight. I mean, it’s 85 targets, 125 munitions, that’s a big deal,” Mulvaney said in the interview, highlighted by Mediaite. “So why don’t we just say ‘okay, this is fine, let’s see what happens next.”
Biden released a statement after the strikes were announced that noted he had attended the return of the three soldiers who were killed in Jordan. He said the military struck the facilities in the Middle East at his direction and the United States’ response will continue “at times and places of our choosing.”
“You can be critical of what’s happened in the past and still look at this tonight and say, ‘okay, I think this might be a good first step,’” Mulvaney said. “Why do you always have to be either for the president or against the president? That’s what I don’t understand.”
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