‘We Can’t Miss On This!’ Biden Pushed Back Days After 9/11 When Tucker Carlson Asked If Iraq ‘Had a Role’ In Attacks


Then-Senator Joe Biden pushed back when then-CNN host Tucker Carlson asked if Iraq “had a role” in the 9/11 terrorist plot just days after the attacks.

Monday marked 22 years since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and another Washington, DC-bound plane that was heroically brought down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers and crew fought back against the hijackers.

President Biden commemorated the occasion with a visit and a speech to servicemembers at Joint Base Elmendorf in Anchorage, Alaska. Carlson — once a top-rated host at Fox News following stints at CNN and MSNBC — spends his time posting videos on X/Twitter.

But things were quite a bit different when Carlson moderated — along with Crossfire co-host Bill Press — a town hall event with Biden and then-Senator Fred Thompson entitled “Senators Discuss ‘America’s New War.'”

Among the topics was an exchange in which Carlson, citing Israeli intelligence, asked if “Iraq had a role” in the attacks and “does that make Iraq the enemy?”

Biden urged caution in reaching such a conclusion:

CARLSON: Senator Biden, Israeli intelligence, a group that knows a lot about terrorism apparently believes that Iraq had a role in this. That is a view that is gaining currency in Washington. A, do you think that that is true, Iraq had a role? And B, does that make Iraq the enemy?

BIDEN: Like Senator Thompson, I have access to the most recent estimates in the intelligence community and I think that anything I say to respond to something like that is probably inappropriate for me to do that on this program. Let me answer that question more generically. If a country was involved in a way that they were particularly accommodated and had some notion that such an attack was likely to take place, and if and or if they aided and abetted in any of the intelligence given to the attackers or in any way directly help them, that puts them in one category. That’s the category, they are our enemy and they are no different than the people that conducted the attack. On the other hand, we are going to go back and as Fred and — I was on the intelligence committee for ten years, Fred was on for a long time and I think still is — what will happen is you — we will be able to show if we wanted to, that a number of countries have aided and abetted terrorists organizations and individual terrorists over time.

It may be you will find a link between those who committed this act and planned it and something that happened in the past relative to helping them. I would argue that’s a slightly different category in terms of how we respond. Because we have to — look, big nations can’t bluff.

We can’t miss on this! We cannot go out and cause the coalition that this administration is painstakingly put together, including the Arab world, including the Islamic world, including our erstwhile former enemies and/or possible adversaries in the future.

We can’t go out there and make a mistake, or in a sense, declare war on every country that has in any way harbored terrorists in the past and except to keep that coalition together. So I think we have to be fairly precise what we do.

Biden was similarly cautious in a Meet the Press interview on Sept. 30, 2001.

Watch above via CNN.

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