NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal this week.
Now, he’s very critical of some Democrats who didn’t want to get into the deal in the first place but now say they don’t want to get out.
“At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program,” the president said Tuesday.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized Trump for scrapping the deal.
“I just don’t see a concrete plan emerging. And when I spoke to the vice president, I asked him a whole lot of questions and didn’t get good answers,” he said.
But Schumer initially opposed the Iran deal when the Obama administration negotiated it back in 2015.
“You got to study it carefully, come up with a conclusion, not let pressure, politics or party influence your decision,” he said at the time. “And then do the right thing.”
The president blasted Schumer for being against the deal before he was for it.
“Senator Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fought hard against the Bad Iran Deal, even going at it with President Obama, & then Voted AGAINST it! Now he says I should not have terminated the deal – but he doesn’t really believe that! Same with Comey. Thought he was terrible until I fired him!” he tweeted Thursday.
In a statement, Schumer told CBS2 his mind hasn’t changed on the deal and he still believes it’s flawed, but said there is a greater threat: “What the Iranian military is doing in Syria; Iran is arming Hezbollah with rockets and Iran is building ballistic missiles. Undoing this agreement makes it harder to deal with those immediate threats.”
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., has essentially taken the same position as Schumer. He opposed the Iran deal in 2015, but now he doesn’t want to scrap it.
“I haven’t changed my position. I still think that the Iran deal was a bad deal,” he told CBS2’s Dick Brennan. “It’s not because I’ve changed my mind about the deal, but you’ve got to be able to have a plan and a strategy and allies to help you enforce it. And right now, we have none of that.”
A third Democrat in our area, Congressman Elliot Engel said he would prefer to keep the deal and, as he put it, “sanction the hell out of Iran, and then impose new sanctions for its ballistic missiles and human rights abuses and supporting of terrorism.”