Fox News host Tucker Carlson played a 2007 clip from then-businessman Donald Trump to bolster his case for removing U.S. troops from Iraq.
Carlson’s opening monologue on Wednesday night’s edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” comes a day after Iran launched missile strikes on two Iraqi military bases in retaliation for last week’s U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
The missiles “landed harmlessly” and was a “purely symbolic bombing designed to stop rather than start a larger war,” Carlson said before playing the president’s Wednesday speech saying Iran’s stand-down is “a good thing for the world.”
“‘A very good thing for the world.’ That’s a big claim. But in this case, it is not an overstatement. For the past five days, all of us had had a chance to ruminate on what war with Iran would mean for us in the United States. And of course at best it would be tragic. Very easily, it could become a catastrophe,” said the Fox News host before making his case for removing U.S. troops from Iraq entirely.
“Thousands of American troops remain stationed in Iraq,” he said. “And that’s a country that is largely run by Iran. Think about that. After nearly 17 years of American occupation, Iran’s most powerful military leader — a man that we considered a terrorist — was flying in and out of Baghdad’s airport like he owned it. That’s how comfortable he felt in Iraq. A place we supposedly control.”
Carlson then brought up the Iraqi parliament’s vote to expel U.S. troops: “So 17 years, trillions of American dollars, more than 35,000 Americans killed or wounded, you probably know one, and this is what we get at the end in return. Another Iranian proxy state that hates us. It’s infuriating. In fact, it’s worse than infuriating, it’s immoral, and the people who let this happen should be punished. The Americans who let it happen. The casual recklessness they displayed, the utter incompetence, it’s all an insult to the memory of the thousands of Americans who died in Iraq. This mismanagement of that country by our elites is one of the saddest things America has ever done.”
Calling Iraq’s request an “upside,” Carlson said that the U.S. should “leave, immediately.”
“Remaining in Iraq increases the power of bureaucrats and think tanks in Washington,” he said. “It does do that, and that’s why they’re in favor of it. As the last week has shown, it imperils the lives of Americans, and for no good reason. We can’t turn Iraq into Belgium. We tried that. It didn’t work. It’s never going to work. We don’t need their oil anymore. A lot has changed since 2003. We’ve got fracking now. It’s time to go.” (RELATED: ‘They Are Liars, And They Don’t Care About You’: Tucker Warns Of ‘Reckless And Incompetent’ Proponents Of War With Iran)
Finally, to counter those who say it’s “irresponsible” to leave, Carlson played a clip from Trump in 2007 explaining how to get out:
“How do they get out?” 2007 Trump asked. “You know how they get out? They get out! That’s how they get out. Declare victory and leave. I’ll tell you, this country is just going to get further bogged down. They’re in a civil war over there, Wolf. There’s nothing we’re going to be able to do with a civil war. They are in a major civil war. It’s going to go to Iran. It’s going to go to other countries. They are in the midst of a major civil war.”
“That was 2007,” said Tucker. “13 years ago. It was good advice. We should have taken it. It’s not too late. Let’s do it now.”