Tempers flared during Wednesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, as Sen. Ted Cruz and Secretary of State John Kerry clashed over whether or not “we should apologize” to the families of service members killed by Iranian commander Qassim Suleimani.
KERRY: Senator, I never said the word “apology,” never mentioned it. I said, “we should thank them for their extraordinary service. I never said we should apologize. Please, don’t distort my words.
CRUZ: Secretary Kerry, it is duly noted you do not apologize to the families of the service members who were murdered by the Iranian military.
KERRY: That’s not what I said —
CRUZ: Do you apologize or not? I don’t want to put words in your mouth —
KERRY: I thank them for their service, and I would remind them that the United States of America will never take the sanctions off Qassim Suleimani.
CRUZ: So I just want clarity. Do you apologize or not? I wanted to clarify that point.
KERRY: I said, “we thank them for their service, but we will not take the sanctions off Qassim Suleimani.
CRUZ: Secretary Kerry, you told Sen. Lee that this was not a treaty because we do not have diplomatic relations with Iran. I would note that that is directly contrary to the testimony you gave to the House when you were asked, “why is this not considered a treaty?” and I will read your answer verbatim —
KERRY: No, no no. I know what I said —
CRUZ: Sir, let me ask my question —
KERRY: You’re not reading my whole answer!