The View’s Meghan McCain on Monday declared her surprise that people would fear war after President Donald Trump assassinated top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani—a decision she is unequivocally “happy” about.
Returning from its holiday break on Monday, The View brought on ABC News political director Rick Klein to discuss the ongoing Iran crisis. While discussing concerns from Democrats that the president is escalating tensions with Iran to distract from impeachment, McCain seemed to come to the defense of the president she has often criticized.
“Yesterday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Soleimani was, quote, actively plotting against the American public and that Trump made the right decision,” the conservative host said. “I was actually really surprised to see things like World War III trending, just given the fact that Soleimani was responsible for over 600 American deaths.”
“Why do you think people are reacting the way that they are?” McCain continued. “Do you think it’s just because there is this trust gap, if you will, between the president of the United States and the American public? For me, when a big, bad terrorist gets blown up, I’m happy about it.”
Klein, meanwhile, said there were two things at play here: The trust gap Americans have with the president and the fact that the administration hasn’t been able to explain how “imminent” the threat was of any attacks Soleimani was purportedly planning against the United States.
In a later segment, McCain wondered why Trump was getting so much blowback over the attack on Iran since, in her opinion, other Republican presidents would have made the same decision.
“Iran has been escalating their attacks for months and months,” the proudly hawkish pundit stated. “I mean, they were harassing our warships, firing rockets to American troops, orchestrated a rocket strike to killed a U.S. contractor and wounded four service members and obviously stormed the U.S. embassy.”
“I made the argument to a friend of mine yesterday that I don’t think a President Marco Rubio or President Romney would have necessarily done anything different by taking out Soleimani,” she added. “Why do you think people are reacting this way to Trump doing this?”
Klein noted that much of it has to do with Trump’s track record and “the way he’s conducted himself and the fact that he’s sitting under impeachment and would have reason to distract.”
“I also think if this was another president, a president Rubio or Romney, I think there would still be questions asked, which are the right questions to ask,” the ABC reporter continued. “When you use military force to kill a guy, you want to know what was behind it.”
Fellow co-host Sunny Hostin, meanwhile, further stated that previous presidents had the opportunity to kill Soleimani but passed on it because “everybody knew that taking out someone who’s not just a terrorist but also someone who’s a member of a government, a sitting position in a government, that’s a provocative action. It’s actually tantamount to war.”