In response to Iran threatening U.S. assets as revenge for Donald Trump‘s recent assassination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the president countered by warning that he would respond to such action by taking aim at Iranian cultural sites. The Gravel Institute, which carries on the work of former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel, responded to Trump’s threat on Twitter, calling the real estate mogul a “dangerous lunatic.”
“Donald Trump just threatened to bomb Iranian cultural sites if Iran retaliates,” the institute tweeted. “We are not dealing with a sane president carrying out a policy devoted to minimizing death and promoting peace. We are dealing with a dangerous lunatic.”
One user suggested that Trump’s threat isn’t very different from standard American foreign policy, to which the progressive think tank agreed.
“Of course. But sometimes it is jaw-dropping just how open Trump is. That’s one of his virtues: he’s too stupid to keep up the artifice, so the bloody machinery is obvious.”
Gravel was previously in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, although he acknowledged that his goal was not to win, but get on the debate stage and promote his progressive, anti-war politics. Although Gravel received enough donors to take the debate stage, he failed to meet the polling thresholds and was never able to make an appearance. Regardless, the campaign noted that their primary goal was to spread Gravel’s message and “shift the conversation,” noting that they had a plan to move forward in the future — an apparent reference to The Gravel Institute.
Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020
During his time in the primary, Gravel was known for roasting the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, taking particular aim at the centrist candidates such as former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Conversely, he spoke positively of candidates like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, whose foreign policy views were more aligned with his.
This is why @MikeGravel's Bernie Sanders endorsement means so much.
Here's Gravel breaking down while reading the 4,100 page Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. He read past 1 AM. No other senators were left in the room. He wanted to make sure every word was recorded. pic.twitter.com/RR9mvJxhXG
— Emma Vigeland (@EmmaVigeland) August 6, 2019
The 89-year-old politician recently endorsed 29-year-old college student and activist McKayla Wilkes, who is running to unseat Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer in the House of Representatives, Salon reported.
“I am delighted to endorse McKayla Wilkes for Maryland’s 5th congressional district. Her views and voice will make a much needed contribution in Congress,” Gravel said at the time, adding that he hopes Wilkes’ success will follow the “model” of New York City Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.
Ocasio-Cortez is 30-years-old and has become one of the most well-known faces of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.