In the aftermath of President Donald J. Trump’s ordering of U.S. Air strikes on Syria in conjunction with U.S. allies, former assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski lit into U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) as he attempts to position himself to win the Democratic Primary in the 7th Congressional District.
In a statement, Lance applauded Trump’s actions, but Malinowski says the Congressman had a different view when President Barack Obama was leader of the country, in effect reversing himself.
“The Assad regime is directly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people and the use of chemical weapons is abhorrent,” said Lance. “Such crimes against humanity have been a scourge on the world for too long. War should never be the first response. We gave diplomacy a chance during the Obama Administration and the world community was told that the chemical weapons had been eliminated. That was clearly not the case.
“This response is measured and appropriate,” the Congressman added. “And the President was right to build a coalition with the British and French and to criticize the actions of Russia and Iran in enabling Assad. War powers and Constitutional responsibilities should be addressed. Congress needs to be involved in further action.”
Malinowski responded with the following statement:
“In 2013, after Assad’s first murderous chemical weapons attack, I went up to Capitol Hill to plead with members of Congress to support President Obama’s request to launch a strike. Leonard Lance was one of the members who said no. He refused to back President Obama at a time when it was politically hard but might have made a difference, but he’s happy to back Trump when it’s politically easy and probably too late.”
Hopeful of taking Lance on this year’s general election in a closely-watched congressional district as Democrats seek to retake the U.S. House of Representatives, Malinowski must first get through two opponents in the Democratic Primary: social worker Peter Jacob of Springfield and attorney Goutam Jois of Summit.