Dick Cheney on Wednesday dismissed criticism of the Iraq war from Bill Clinton, saying the former president also believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
“Well, I usually haven’t looked at Bill for advice. He doesn’t call me very often,” Cheney said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
Cheney’s response follows Clinton’s comments Tuesday in which he slammed the former vice president for Cheney’s own critique of the Obama administration’s handling of Iraq.
“I believe if they hadn’t gone into war in Iraq, none of this would be happening,” Clinton said in an interview with NBC’s David Gregory that will air Sunday on “Meet the Press.” “Mr. Cheney has been incredibly adroit for the last six years or so attacking the administration for not doing an adequate job of cleaning up the mess that he made. I think it’s unseemly.”
Bill Clinton warns of Iraqi WMD and the threat of Saddam Hussein
Clinton added, “And I give President Bush, by the way, a lot of credit for trying to stay out of this debate and letting other people work through it.”More on Democrats, Iraq and WMD....
On Fox, Cheney said that Clinton himself acknowledged the possibility of Hussein possessing WMD.
“He also warned about weapons of mass destruction and the possibility that if Saddam had them, which they believed he did, that he would some day use them,” Cheney said.
Clinton, while serving as president, did acknowledge the threat of Iraq’s nuclear program and in December 1998, he ordered the U.S. to strike military and security targets in the country after Iraq no longer cooperated with U.N. weapons inspections.
“Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly,” Clinton said at the time in remarks explaining the strike, according to a CNN transcript. “The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.”
Clinton also warned that the U.S. must be prepared to use force again if Saddam Hussein took more threatening actions.
“And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them,” Clinton said at the time.