WASHINGTON — Top Trump administration officials briefed Capitol Hill lawmakers Tuesday about tensions with Iran.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., left the all-members briefing dismayed by what he characterized as an ugly tone by those on the other side of the aisle.
“It was just a heartbreaking display of partisanship in there,” Bacon said.
The administration is trying to make the case that military assets it has ordered to the region represent a prudent step to deter Iran from engaging in escalating provocations.
Some Democrats, however, have questioned whether the administration is actually driving that escalation by taking a hard line.
And critics have warned against going down the same road that took the United States into the Iraq War.
Bacon, however, described some Democrats as more concerned about the threat of Trump than the threat of Iran.
“The message from the administration is they don’t want war, but they want to be in position to deter,” Bacon said. “But it just falls on deaf ears because it’s so anti-Trump right now.”
President Donald Trump himself has tweeted pointed remarks toward Iran since the situation started.
“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “Never threaten the United States again!”
If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019
Bacon described the administration generally as showing patience and restraint in regards to Iran, but he acknowledged that the president has his own approach when it comes to social media.
“I’m not too keen on diplomacy over Twitter,” Bacon said. “I don’t think it helps.”