Conservative commentator and radio talk show host Mark Levin responded to Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) after she blasted President Donald Trump over his response to an attack on key Saudi Arabia oil facilities over the weekend.
The drone attacks on Sept. 14 on the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field disrupted 5 percent of the daily global supply and halted about 5.7 million barrels in daily crude oil production, Saudi state oil company Aramco said. Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo placed the blame Iran. Iran has dismissed the accusations.
In a post on Sept. 15, Trump said the United States is “locked and loaded” to respond to an attack on the oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, pending verification by the kingdom on who was actually behind the attacks.
“Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked,” Trump wrote. “There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”
Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
Hours later, Gabbard criticized Trump for having to wait for instructions from Saudi Arabia, while using coarse language in her post.
“Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters. Having our country act as Saudi Arabia’s [expletive] is not ‘America First,'” she wrote.
Gabbard’s remarks prompted a response from Levin, the author of the book “Unfreedom of the Press,” who called the presidential hopeful a “clown” for putting the focus on Saudi Arabia rather than on Iran.
“Tulsi Gabbard, another clown. This isn’t about Saudi Arabia, moron. Iran is threatening world’s oil supply, navigable waters, killed hundreds of American soldiers, building ICBM’s for nuclear warheads, threatens to destroy the U.S., etc. you’re unfit to lead our country. You’re a dangerous fool,” he wrote.
…, threatens to destroy the U.S., etc. you’re unfit to lead our country. You’re a dangerous fool.https://t.co/WzRhZZB9uE
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) September 16, 2019
This is not the first time Gabbard has used such language to criticize the president regarding Saudi Arabia.
Back in November, Trump defended Saudi Arabia in regards to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In response, Gabbard wrote, “Hey @realdonaldtrump: being Saudi Arabia’s [expletive] is not ‘America First,'” she wrote at the time.
Later on Sept. 16, Trump said it “certainly would look” like Iran was behind the attacks, adding that “the United States is more prepared” for conflict but he would like to avoid a war with Iran, according to a White House pool report.
Iran seems to have escalated aggressive actions in the region since the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on much of the Iranian economy.
On June 13, two oil tankers were attacked near the strait in the Gulf of Oman. The United States has blamed Iran, which denied responsibility. The U.S. military then released video and images that appear to show Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) removing a mine from the hull of one of the tankers, suggesting that Iran sought to remove evidence of its involvement.
A week later on June 20, Trump said he called off a retaliatory strike at the last minute to prevent loss of life after a U.S. drone was shot down. Instead, he ordered cyber-attacks on Iranian targets, multiple media reported.
Iran subsequently attempted to shoot down a U.S. drone arriving at the scene of the attacks, according to a Fox News report that cited a senior U.S. official.
On July 4, Gibraltar authorities with United Kingdom’s assistance seized an Iranian oil tanker, saying it was smuggling oil to Syria in breach of the European Union’s sanctions. Iran denied the allegation and on July 19 seized a Sweden-owned tanker flying a British flag.
Two weeks later on July 18, a U.S. amphibious assault ship shot down an Iranian drone in what Trump described as a “defensive action.” Then several days later on July 22, Iran claimed to have captured 17 CIA spies, which Trump called false.
A U.S. drone was then shot down by a surface-to-air missile over Yemen on Aug. 20, multiple media reported.
Epoch Times Petr Svab contributed to this report.