A 2017 tweet by White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki began making the rounds Thursday night after President Biden approved U.S. military strikes against Iran-backed militias in Syria.
Ms. Psaki, who in 2017 was a liberal political commentator for Fintech Zoom, derided some U.S. military strikes in Syria made by President Donald Trump as probably illegal, notwithstanding humanitarian issues.
“Also what is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country,” she wrote on Twitter.
Also what is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country.
— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) April 7, 2017
Conservative writer Stephen L. Miller quoted her tweet and replied “good question.”
Other conservative and anti-war commentators quickly picked up the cudgel, some using Ms. Psaki’s own tics as press secretary to needle her.
“This is what circling back is I guess?” wrote one Twitter user, while another parodied some of Ms. Psaki’s replies to economic questions.
“First and foremost, the first pilot who launched the airstrike is a non-white trans woman,” snarked @JoeySalander.
Whatever legal justification exists today for strikes in Syria in 2021 almost certainly would have existed in 2017. Indeed, if anything, the Trump presidency was marked by his efforts to reduce U.S. involvement in Middle East wars, not expand a president’s authority to involve the U.S. in them.