Barack Obama’s former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta made an appearance on MSNBC Friday, where he offered some harsh criticism of Obama’s foreign policy decisions while arguing that President Donald Trump made the right call in striking Syria after Basah al-Assad gassed the civilian population.
At 9:38 in the video that follows, Panetta, who has never showed restraint in his criticism of Obama, tells anchor Andrea Mitchell:
I’ve always said that when a president puts his credibility on the line with a red line, as President Obama did in saying we would not allow them to use chemical weapons, I think it was the right step to take, but it was also important to then stand by that red line and enforce it. And I think when there was hesitancy, when we went to Congress to get their permission, and we didn’t take action, I think it sent the wrong message not only to Assad but to Russia as well. So I think it’s important when presidents set red lines and say we’re going to do something, you got to stand by your word. Otherwise, it sends a message of weakness to the world.
This is not the first time that Panetta leveled criticism at his former boss. In his memoirs, published the year after he stepped down as Obama’s defense secretary, he was deeply critical of Obama’s handling of the war in Iraq as well as in Syria.
Cross-posted at Constitution.com