Top House Judiciary Republican makes unfounded claim that Democrats are 'in love with terrorists'
Posted January 9, 2020 8:23 a.m. EST
Updated January 9, 2020 9:17 a.m. EST
CNN — The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday accused Democrats of being "in love with terrorists," claiming, without evidence, the party's members mourn the recent death of Iran's top military general more than they do fallen US service members.
The remarks from Georgia Rep. Doug Collins came during an interview with Fox News' Lou Dobbs in which the congressman was asked about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's announcement earlier that day that the chamber will take up legislation on Thursday to restrain President Donald Trump's military actions amid hostilities with Iran. The vote comes a week after a US drone strike killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and sharply escalated tensions between the longtime adversaries.
Although the congressional reaction to Trump's actions toward Iran in the past week has largely fallen along partisan lines, Collins' remarks were especially remarkable. No congressional Democrat has mourned Soleimani, whom US officials have blamed for the deaths of hundreds of Americans.
"Nancy Pelosi does it again and her Democrats fall right in line," Collins said. "One, they are in love with terrorists -- we see that. They mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our Gold Star families who are the ones who suffered under Soleimani. That's a problem."
Collins' comments drew rebuke on social media, including from Eric Columbus, a former senior official in the Obama Justice Department who pointed out that the congressman supports the President despite the fact that in 2016, Trump sparred with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son died in Iraq in 2004, in a contentious back-and-forth.
Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley made similar claims during a Fox News interview on Monday, arguing that Democrats alone were mourning the late Iranian general.
"The only ones that are mourning the loss of Soleimani are our Democrat leadership and our Democrat presidential candidates," she said.
Responding to the former ambassador's comments, Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" that the claim was "absolutely ridiculous."
"It's unfortunate that (Haley) would choose to use those kind of words" in regard to Democrats, he said Tuesday.
The resolution being considered by the House comes after Iran earlier this week fired a number of missiles aimed at nearby US bases in retaliation for the strike that killed Soleimani. Earlier Wednesday, Trump signaled a de-escalation of tensions with the country, saying at the White House that the country "appears to be standing down" following the missile strikes.