‘What is Joe Waiting for?’: Kirby Challenged on Lack of Response After U.S. Soldiers Attacked [WATCH]

During Thursday afternoon’s White House press conference, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby was asked about President Biden’s warning to Iran and its proxies over attacking U.S. Soldiers in the Middle East.

According to ABC News, American forces have been attacked by Iran-backed militants 13 times in the last week alone.

From ABC News:

The U.S. retains the ability to defend itself and hasn’t ruled out retaliatory operations after the Pentagon said American forces were attacked by Iran-backed militants at least 13 times in the Middle East in the last week, President Joe Biden said Wednesday.

“My warning to the ayatollah [is] that if they continue to move against those troops, we will respond, and he should be prepared,” Biden told reporters, referring to Iran’s supreme leader.

Pentagon officials have echoed that.

So, where’s the retaliation? Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich asked Kirby about it during a tense exchange.

REPORTER (@JacquiHeinrich): “The president said that if Iran or its proxies attacked U.S. troops, that we would respond. What is he waiting for?”

KIRBY: “He did say that”

REPORTER: “So repeating the warning is the response…..?”

KIRBY: Jacqui, come on now.

HEINRICH: It’s an honest question.

KIRBY: I’m not going to telegraph punches here from the podium. We have responded and retaliated in the past — quite aggressively, in fact, back in March — and as the president said, we will not hesitate to protect our troops and our facilities, but we’re going to do it at a time of our choosing, in a manner of our choosing. And the decision to do it — if we do it — is his as commander in chief, and his alone.

Watch the clip above. More from the exchange below:

HEINRICH: He said that he issued a warning to the Ayatollah — this warning talked about yesterday — how was that warning delivered?

KIRBY: I’m not going to get into that.

HEINRICH: Can you say if there was a phone call or there was a third party? Was there a message that was relayed after U.S. troops were injured?

KIRBY: There was a direct message relayed. That’s as far as I’m going to go.

HEINRICH: And then why were the injuries not disclosed until Tuesday?

KIRBY: I’d have to refer you to the Pentagon

 

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