Nauert Hits Back at ‘Snarky’ Reporter Asking U.S. to Apologize for Iraq War

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State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Tuesday dismissed the idea of the U.S. apologizing for its foreign policy history.

A reporter asked Nauert during the State Department briefing whether the U.S. needs to apologize for meddling in other countries’ affairs.

"Should the U.S. apologize for regime change operations, for meddling in elections in multiple countries through many means over the years?" he asked.

"You’re asking me about the entire history of the United States, should we apologize?" Nauert replied. "Should we apologize for our government all around the world? I think that the United States government does far more good than we ever do bad."

Nauert granted that some in America and abroad have a negative view of American foreign policy, and the reporter accused the U.S. government of fabricating evidence to start the Iraq War.

"Most Americans are opposed to the Iraq War. Should the U.S. government apologize for things that were put out by the podium, people who are in this administration, who fabricated information to start the Iraq War?" the reporter asked.

"Look, I get what you’re getting at, you want to be snarky and take a look back at the last fifteen years," Nauert said, while the reporter protested that he was not snarky but wanted "to get real."

"Iraq is certainly a country that has been through a lot," Nauert said.

She went on to describe how the U.S. is in Iraq to fight the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS),  having been invited by the Iraqi government.

"Right now the most significant challenge there is ISIS, and the United States remains there at the invitation of the Iraqi government to fight and take on ISIS," she said. "I want to commend the Iraqi government for something, that is for the last 15 years they have had a history of free and fair elections … That is remarkable given where they were under the regime of Saddam Hussein."

Nauert described how Iraqis under Saddam not only had no voting rights, but they lived in fear of a violent and repressive regime that frequently killed its own citizens.

"That is something that is very difficult for the average American to understand because that is simply the way of life there," she said. "The United States has a strong relationship with the government of Iraq. I’m going to look forward from this podium. In this room, we have a good relationship with the government with Iraq and we’re not going to look back at this point."

Paul Crookston

Paul Crookston   Email Paul | Full Bio | RSS
Paul Crookston is a media analyst with the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review. A 2016 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., he served as the managing editor of the Tartan campus newspaper. He is originally from Tampa, Fla., but he still roots for Dad’s Ohio teams. His Twitter handle is @P_Crookston. He can be reached at crookston@freebeacon.com.

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