Republican Rep. Doug Collins (Ga.) on Wednesday said that Democratic lawmakers were “in love with terrorists” in the wake of their criticism of President Trump‘s decision to order an airstrike that killed a top Iranian commander.
“They’re in love with terrorists,” Collins, a vocal defender of the president, said in an appearance on Fox Business’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” He then asserted that Democrats were mourning the death of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, one of the most powerful officials in the country and the leader of its elite Quds Force.
“They mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our Gold Star families, who are the ones who suffered under Soleimani. That’s a problem,” Collins added.
The comments came as the Trump administration manages the fallout from the president’s decision to order an airstrike that killed Soleimani outside the Baghdad airport last week. Iran, who vowed retaliation, on Tuesday fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops, the Pentagon said.
In a public address from the White House on Wednesday, Trump said that the missile attacks led to no American casualties and that Iran had appeared to be “standing down.” He added that he was prepared to impose further economic sanctions against the Iranian government as it weighed other responses.
Collins said that Trump was emerging as a “voice of reason” amid the increasing tensions in the Middle East.
His accusations against Democrats ignited backlash from former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, who served during the Obama administration before being fired by Trump.
“Who is running against this craven un-American ignorant asshole named Doug Collins?” he asked on Twitter. “I will max out to you tomorrow. I hope you all join me.”
“I happen to be a Democrat and I prosecuted terrorists for living,” he added in a separate tweet. “I don’t know what Doug Collins has ever done to for America except preen and sound stupid.”
Who is running against this craven un-American ignorant asshole named Doug Collins? I will max out to you tomorrow. I hope you all join me. https://t.co/AREc1pvjdX
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) January 8, 2020
Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), who is mounting a primary challenge against Trump, called Collins’s remarks “just sick.”
“This is what Trump does. He corrupts. He corrodes,” Walsh tweeted.
Democratic lawmakers are vowing to move forward with a vote on a resolution that would curtail Trump’s war powers pertaining to the conflict with Iran. The resolution, authored by Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), would mandate military hostilities with Iran end within 30 days unless Congress grants approval.
“Congress has given up for decades too much of our power. And I think this is finally a moment maybe to wake everyone up and try to reclaim some of that power,” said Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.