ICYMI: McCaul Discusses Iran and News of the Day on Fox News & CNN from New YorkBlog
Washington D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) appeared live in studio from New York, NY on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” and CNN’s “CNN Newsroom”to discuss Iran, election security, and other foreign policy news of the day. Key highlights below:
“Our mission there is not to be aggressive to Iran. Our mission there is to defend the region and our allies. Remember, the Strait of Hormuz controls a good percentage of the oil that goes out to the world. I think what the Iranians are trying to do here is to strike back. They know they’re being weakened. The sanctions are crippling them. This is their retaliatory response against that to attack vessels in the Persian Gulf and try to take down energy tankers. We can’t idly sit back and let this happen. They need to know we’re there and we sent in aircraft carriers, I call them “100,000 tons of diplomacy.” This cannot stand. We invite them to come to the table and negotiate with us to stop this aggression.
“Nobody wants to see war… We have military strategies that we look at, but I think that overall war is not an option we seek. We want an international coalition to bring Iran to the table to stop its terrorism, stop its ICBM capability, stop its uranium enrichment which they have now boasted they have quadrupled since this May announcement. It is escalating, Bill, I have to be honest with you, but it’s important they know we’re strong and won’t let them get away with this.”
On Congress’ response to Russian election interference…
“If it’s possible to be rational and take the politics out of all this and look at it this from a national security perspective. I was one of the “Gang of Eight” who got briefed on the Russian interference in October 2016, and I urged then President Obama and his Administration to come out and condemn this, as with the current President. They’re [Russia] going to try to do it again. We need to be prepared for that. I did pass legislation that gives DHS grant money to the states to harden their election machines from potential influence. This disinformation campaign that they do so well in the internet is already taking place, Jim and it’s going to continue to create chaos in our electoral system. So we need to be able to identify and call it out and let the American people know it’s coming from Russia, it’s not coming from any of the candidates in the United States.”
“Well, there’s no question it’s escalating. I think the sanctions are having a crippling impact on Iran’s economy. You know, 40% of their economy comes from oil. These waivers that were basically not granted to the five countries is having a devastating impact on Iran, which I personally think is a good thing. They’re getting more desperate, and their response to this is to conduct strikes. A week after the waivers were rescinded, they started to attack… We’re there in a defensive posture, but also we want diplomacy. Our aircraft carriers are a strong deterrent and provide that measure of diplomacy to work out an agreement with Iran… We always want peace, not war.”