Tanden’s nomination has been met with anger by both Republicans and Democrats. While the former have criticised her for her support of the Steele dossier, which claimed Trump had colluded with Russia to influence the results of the 2016 presidential election, the latter have faulted Tanden with her opposition to Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid.
Another blow has been dealt to Joe Biden’s pick for director of the Office of Management and Budget as it was revealed that Neera Tanden had reportedly physically attacked a journalist when she was working for Hillary Clinton. The alleged incident occurred in 2008 when Hillary was running for president, and it was reported by The New York Times last year. According to the newspaper, Tanden was accompanying Clinton to an interview with ThinkProgress, a liberal news website run by the Center for American Progress, which Tanden has been heading since 2011.
During the interview, ThinkProgress’ then-chief editor, Faiz Shakir, asked Clinton about her support for the 2002 resolution that authorised the use of military force against Iraq, a military campaign that claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people. According to The New York Times, which cited a person present in the room, Tanden rushed to Shakir after the interview and punched him in the chest.
Last year, when Shakir was working on Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, Tanden addressed the issue and said she did not punch the journalist.
“I didn’t slug him, I pushed him”, she said.
The Joe Biden campaign has not yet responded to a request for comment.
This is yet another detail that casts an unflattering light on Tanden’s candidacy and may ruin her chances to be approved by the Senate, as not only Republicans, but even fellow Democratic Party members are unhappy with Biden’s choice – in particular, Tanden’s opposition to Bernie Sanders’ candidacy during the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
The US invaded Iraq on the pretext that Baghdad was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. According to leaked Pentagon files, more than 109,000 Iraqis were killed between 2004 and 2009 and 66,000 of those deaths were civilians. One US estimate put the Iraqi death toll at 650,000. According to the US Department of Defence, 4,431 US servicemen were killed in Iraq.
The military campaign resulted in the destabilisation of Iraq and the Middle East, with some observers saying that the invasion led to the emergence of the Daesh* terrorist group.
No weapons of mass destruction were found and a public inquiry conducted by Sir John Chilcot concluded that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq did not pose an imminent threat and that the policy towards the country was based on flawed intelligence.
In recent years, Clinton, who was also opposed to the quick withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, reversed her stance on the issue and said her support of the military campaign was a “mistake”.
*Daesh (IS/ISIL/ISIS) – a terrorist organisation banned in Russia.