Donald Trump Jr. Praises Father After Baghdad Embassy Attack, Compares to Obama's 'Disgraceful' Handling of Benghazi

Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, praised his father's handling of the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad Wednesday and compared it to former President Barack Obama's "disgraceful" response to the 2012 Benghazi attack.

In a series of tweets on New Year's Eve, the president vowed that Iran "will pay a very BIG PRICE!", after protesters breached the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and set fire inside in retaliation to America's weekend airstrikes against Iran-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah. Demonstrators shattered windows, burned items from the location and flung rocks over the wall, and some threatened to camp indefinitely outside the vicinity. The siege eventually ended on Wednesday after the Pentagon deployed hundreds of additional troops to the Middle East to defuse the situation.

On Wednesday morning, Trump Jr. took to Twitter to praise his father's quick response by comparing it to Benghazi. "It's nice to wake up in a country who once again leads like they should. When our embassy's is [sic] under attack & they ask for help they actually get it... Immediately!," he tweeted. "Yesterday's action vs the disgraceful response at Benghazi is all you need to know about leadership then & now!"

Later in the afternoon, Trump Jr. attacked the mainstream media for allegedly not giving the president enough credit over Baghdad and suggested that the press were not on America's side. "It's a sad day when you can hear it in the media's voice how upset they are that the Iraq embassy attack hasn't turned into a disaster like Benghazi because this administration had the guts to actually take action & defend Americans," he tweeted. "At least we know whose side they're on!"

In September 2012, four Americans including then-Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens were killed in coordinated attacks on two U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. The Obama administration faced backlash for initially describing the incident as a spontaneous protest after it was revealed that members of the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia were behind the attacks.

The accusations of dishonesty surrounding Obama's handling of Benghazi further fueled his critics' assertion that the then-president had failed to treat terrorism as a real threat. After garnering a large amount of media attention, ten investigations—six lead by Republican-controlled House committees —failed to find wrongdoing by any senior administration official.

However, the probes did determine that the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security made decisions that resulted in issues with security at the Benghazi locations. Eric Boswell, who served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security from 2008 to 2012, eventually resigned under pressure later that year.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Hundreds of Iraqi demonstrators, chanting "Death to America!" while throwing rocks, stormed through the outer wall of the American embassy after U.S. airstrikes killed two dozen pro-Iran fighters over on Sunday. The protesters also defaced walls with graffiti and demanded U.S. troops to be withdrawn from the area.

An Iraqi intelligence official and senior Pentagon official told Newsweek on Tuesday that the Iranian government played a direct role in organizing the protesters' attack on the U.S. embassy, and that the violent demonstration was distinct from those sweeping the country.

"This is not short of military planning by the IRGC-Quds Force," the official said, speaking under the condition of anonymity. "They wage war not only against American soldiers and civilians, but most of all they wage war against the poor and helpless Iraqi citizens who are against the Shiite Islamic state of Iran."

This story has been updated to include additional information about the 2012 Benghazi attack.

Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump, Jr. attends the 139th White House Easter Egg Roll at The White House on April 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. Leigh Vogel/Getty
Donald Trump Jr. Praises Father After Baghdad Embassy Attack, Compares to Obama's 'Disgraceful' Handling of Benghazi | Politics