After Trump tweet on Iran, Shaheen says Twitter is no way to make foreign policy

For the Monitor
Published: 7/23/2018 2:54:57 PM

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says Iran is a clear threat to the United States but criticized an all-capital-letters tweet by President Donald Trump that forcefully challenged the Iranian regime.

“Iran clearly continues to be a threat. Their terrorist activities in the Middle East present problems in Lebanon, in Syria, in Yemen. So we have a definite challenge with Iran,” the Democrat from New Hampshire told reporters Monday.

But President Trump’s Sunday night tweet, in which Trump said any threats to the U.S. would be met with unspecified dire consequences, was the wrong way to respond, Shaheen said.

“Foreign policy by tweet is not the way to make foreign policy.”

Shaheen, who serves on both the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, urged the president to consult with his foreign policy team and “come up with a strategy for how to respond to Iran as opposed to tweets that aggravate the situation.”

In seemingly escalating tensions with Tehran, Trump tweeted to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”

The president tweeted after his return to the White House from a weekend at his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J.

Trump appeared to be responding to earlier remarks by Rouhani, who warned the U.S. that war with Iran would be the “mother of all wars.”

Shaheen spoke with reporters after teaming up with Sen. Maggie Hassan at an event at Riverbend Community Mental Health in Concord to criticize the Trump administration’s attacks on the national health care law, which the two Democratic senators said was fueling higher out-of-pocket health care costs for Granite Staters.

Trump’s forceful tweet aimed at the Iranian president was reminiscent of his heavy criticism of Kim Jong-un, whom he taunted on social media before changing course and meeting with the North Korean leader at a high-stakes summit in Singapore.

Asked Monday morning whether the President’s tweet could spark a war with Iran, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters, “If anybody is inciting anything, look no further than to Iran.”

Sanders added that the president speaks daily with his national security team, but she wouldn’t say whether Trump consulted with those advisers before he sent out the tweet to Iran on Sunday night.




Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2019 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy