Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) forcefully responded to former top Obama administration official Ben Rhodes Friday for downplaying Iran’s involvement in recent ship attacks in the Gulf of Oman.
On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo publicly blamed Iran for attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication,” Pompeo said.
In response, Rhodes — one of former President Barack Obama’s most trusted advisers, who also architected the failed Iran nuclear deal — downplayed the significance of Pompeo’s announcement.
“This definitely feels like the kind of incident where you’d want an international investigation to establish what happened,” Rhodes said. “Huge risk of escalation.”
How did Crenshaw respond?
In response to Rhodes’ comments, Crenshaw hit back on Friday with a fact check and brief history lesson, calling Rhodes “not really a trusted source to weigh in on Iran.”
Crenshaw went on to explain why he believes the Trump administration is responding correctly to Iran’s escalation.
I’ve been watching for years as Iran moves weapons to proxies around the region, looking for opportunities to destabilize & wreak havoc, and then claim innocence. This is not new. And the Administration is right to strengthen our regional presence as a deterrence.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) June 14, 2019
Rhodes did not respond to Crenshaw.