July 3, 2016

Tehran Tom Cotton is the absolute last person any journalist should turn to for foreign policy discussions, but there he was, popping up on Meet the Press like a bad penny, full of nonsensical claims about Iraq, Libya and Syria. It was hard to pick one, but we did.

Speaking of Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, Cotton claimed, "In 2011, when our commanders said they need more troops in Iraq and when every Iraqi leader wanted a new agreement to keep those troops there, she couldn't achieve that even though she was Secretary of State."

Not so much. And if you don't believe me, let's turn to Politifact, who analyzed this position in light of Jeb Bush's claims of the same failure. First, there was no consensus on the number of troops to station in Iraq between President Obama and Iraqi leaders, and second, President Obama had always been committed to bringing home our troops in Iraq, not sending more.

As to the Iraqis, their military leaders wanted nearly three times the number of troops to remain behind, a number which was unacceptable to President Obama.

In the end, the 2008 agreement struck by the Bush administration held, because Iraq would not agree to grant immunity to the troops stationed there.

Is this not something Chuck Todd could have had at his fingertips to counter Cotton with? Oops, I forgot. It's not his job to fact-check.

And with that, I've gotta leave it there.

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