Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democratic presidential candidate and Iraq war veteran, told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that Iran is a threat to U.S. interests.
"We have to acknowledge that Iran is a threat to American interests," Moulton said. "In fact, I fought Iranians on the ground in Iraq in 2004. It was bloody. We won. And if necessary, I will fight Iran again. But right now, war is not necessary."
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Congresswoman Gabbard... says the real danger now is a new Cold War.
REP. SETH MOULTON: Well, the fact of the matter is that there are a lot of dangers we face around the globe because we have a weak commander-in-chief in Donald Trump. And that’s why in this race I’m taking him on, not just as president, but as commander-in-chief. We’ve got to start talking about how we can make America safe and strong, from our communities to our borders to across the globe, to restoring American leadership. And you do that through strength, you do that by showing how America will make the world stronger and safer together.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you the only Democrat doing that?
MOULTON: Well, you know, I’m the only one who's really been talking about -- about national security and taking on Trump in his job as commander in chief. And I do that with the experience of having served on the ground in combat, doing four tours in the Iraq war, leading troops in infantry. And it's given me a firsthand perspective on what it takes to make America safe and strong, but also how careful we have to be in getting into wars across the globe. And that’s why I’m so concerned about the escalation with Iran right now. We have to acknowledge that Iran is a threat to American interests.
In fact, I fought Iranians on the ground in Iraq in 2004. It was bloody. We won. And if necessary, I will fight Iran again. But right now, war is not necessary.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Washington Post reported this week that you -- in a classified briefing you accused the Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney of exaggerating the intelligence about the threat from Iran. Does that apply to the administration as well?
MOULTON: Well, it does. And I’m not going to discuss the contents of the classified briefing, but suffice it to say, Liz Cheney seems to think that this is a slam dunk. And I disagree. I spoke with General Mattis recently, former secretary of defense, who when the Baghdad Embassy was attacked in -- in September decided the right course of action was not to send a new carrier group to the Gulf, not to send 120,000 troops like the administration is contemplating, because we need to avoid and -- and -- an incident like the Gulf of Tonkin incident that set off the Vietnam war that would drag us into war.
But make no mistake, this is exactly what John Bolton wants to have happen. He pushed America into Iraq under a weak commander in chief in George w. Bush and he's pushing America into Iran today. And we have the same situation with a commander in chief who dodged his own generation's war, you know, got a -- got a medical -- got his -- his father to use his connections to lie about his feet, lie about his bone spurs and get out of serving his own generation's war. So he doesn't have the credibility to keep us out of this one. And that's why this situation is so dangerous.
It’s why the world is so dangerous when you have a weak commander in chief in the president of the United States.