Trump on Iran's Embassy Attack: 'This Was the Anti-Benghazi'

'Had they done what I did, you wouldn't know the name Benghazi'

January 9, 2020

President Donald Trump on Thursday said the attack by Iranian proxies on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad turned out to be "the anti-Benghazi."

Trump took credit for preventing the situation from escalating the way the 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, did.

"Had they done what I did, you wouldn't know the name Benghazi. It would not be a very famous name," he said during a press conference Thursday. "Now it's a very famous name. This was the anti-Benghazi."

He also said the so-called protesters were not protesters at all but "rough warriors" who would have done "very serious harm" if they were not stopped from breaching the embassy.

"Had they gotten through I believe we would have either had a hostage situation, or worse, we would have had a lot of people killed," he said. "Those people were going to do very serious harm. They were soldiers, they were warriors. And we stopped it."

The siege caused American diplomats to take shelter inside the embassy amid chants of "Death to America." Trump ordered a deployment of approximately 750 soldiers to protect the diplomats and disperse the aggressors.

"We got the Apaches there very quickly, they were doing the flares. People didn't know what was happening," Trump said. "They could have done that with Benghazi too, by the way."

He also pointed to the recent killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, who he said organized the attack on the embassy.

"That was a totally organized plot and you know who organized it—that man right now is not around any longer. And he had more than that particular embassy in mind," he said.

In 2012, terrorists attacked the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in the deaths of four Americans. The Obama administration initially argued the attack was a protest over a video that unexpectedly turned violent, but subsequent evidence showed it was a terrorist operation. Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced criticism for failing to respond quickly and forcefully, although the administration argued it acted appropriately.