Tags: Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | John McCain | War on Terrorism | John McCain | Jay Carney

McCain Rips Jay Carney: You 'Distorted' Facts on Iraq

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 10:43 PM

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney's honeymoon didn't last long in his first day as a CNN contributor, when Sen. John McCain accused him of distorting facts.

The two were part of a panel discussing the speech President Barack Obama had just finished on his plan to attack the Islamic State (ISIS) with airstrikes in Syria.

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McCain almost immediately went after Carney, taking issue with a statement he had made earlier about the Free Syrian Army rebels, for whom McCain has long urged U.S. support.

"I'm astounded that Mr. Carney should say that the Free Syrian Army is now stronger. In fact, they've been badly, badly damaged," McCain said.

"Well, Senator, that's not what I said . . . I said we know a great deal more about the makeup of the opposition," Carney responded.

"Come on, Jay. We knew all about them then. You just didn't choose to know. I was there in Syria. We knew them. Come on . . . your boss is the one that when the entire national security team wanted to arm and train them he turned them down, Mr. Carney," McCain said.

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Carney tried to ease the tension by suggesting they would have to "agree to disagree on this."

"No, facts are stubborn things, Mr. Carney," McCain shot back, pointing out that Obama's entire national security team wanted to arm, equip and train the rebels. "He made the unilateral decision to turn them down."

McCain also pointed out that Obama overruled all of his military advisers when he refused to leave a residual force in Iraq.

That, McCain said, "is the reason why we're facing ISIS today."

McCain said he favors the actions Obama now says he plans to take, "but to say that America is safer and that the situation is very much like Yemen and Somalia shows me that the president really doesn't have a grasp for how serious the threat of ISIS is."

Carney said the Iraqi government didn't want a residual force and the American people didn't support troops there in perpetuity.

"You know, Mr. Carney, you are again saying facts that are patently false," McCain said. He said that he, along with Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, visited Baghdad. "They wanted the residual force."

McCain also accused Carney in his former role as Obama's spokesman of bragging that the last U.S. combat troop had left Iraq. That pullout caused the situation on the ground today, McCain said.

Carney again tried to say the two simply had a difference of opinion, but McCain refused to yield.

"It's not a matter of disagreement. It's a matter of facts. And you have yours wrong, and you have distorted them," McCain said.

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Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney's honeymoon didn't last long in his first day as a CNN contributor, when Sen. John McCain accused him of distorting facts.
John McCain, Jay Carney, distorted, facts
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2014-43-10
Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 10:43 PM
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