Drain the swamp? Elliot Abrams IS the swamp, or at least the zombie swamp thing that won’t go away. And good that Ilhan Omar took some time to remind us.
“Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush,” Omar begins. “I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.”
“If I could respond to that …” Abrams says, before Omar cuts him off.
“It wasn’t a question,” the lawmaker says icily.
Abrams reacts angrily to this response, and only gets angrier from there. Omar pushes Abrams on Reagan-era policies in places like El Salvador and Nicaragua, and he flatly refuses to answer. Instead, he angrily dismisses the entire line of questioning as a “personal attack.”
Omar points out that it isn’t a personal attack at all, but rather quite relevant to his current job. Trump has contemplated intervening militarily in the Venezuela conflict before; it’s reasonable to ask, with Abrams in a key office, whether he has learned from the cruel and illegal positions he took in the Reagan years.
But more fundamentally, what’s striking about this video is how angry Abrams gets about being held to account for his past actions.
Oh, and pointing this out is not a defense of Nicolás Maduro, who combines malevolence and incompetence. This is also about the United States. And when Elliot Abrams is your public face, the message is more than a little malevolent and incompetent as well. Not to mention just plain gross. Abrams is a creep.