Welcome to 2020 Vision, the Yahoo News column covering the presidential race. Reminder: There are 24 days until the Iowa caucuses and 298 days until the 2020 presidential election.
The Iran crisis collided with the Democratic presidential race this week as Sen. Bernie Sanders and President Trump battled over the circumstances of the U.S. strike that killed a prominent Iranian general.
In an interview Friday morning with NBC News, Sanders said that he had yet to be presented with evidence that Gen. Qassem Soleimani was planning an imminent attack on the United States when Trump ordered his killing last week. Sanders immediately called the attack an “assassination.”
“The difficulty that we have, and I don’t mean to be rude here, is that we have a president who is a pathological liar,” said Sanders on the “Today” show discussing the stated reasoning behind the strike on Soleimani at a Baghdad airport. “So could it be true? I guess it could be. Is it likely to be true? Probably not.”
“I think what happens in our own country and around the world is that people don’t believe much of what Trump says, and when you lie all the time, the problem is sometimes maybe you’re telling the truth and people are not going to believe you,” he added.
The White House has yet to provide details of why Soleimani had to be killed, including at a widely criticized Wednesday meeting with Congress that Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah called “probably the worst briefing I’ve seen, at least on a military issue, in the nine years I’ve served in the United States Senate.” Following Soleimani’s death, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the attacks his killing allegedly prevented “might still happen.”