Oh, really?? OK. Well, whatever, I guess. Like "spreading democracy" to Iraq, then staying when they say get out. Iran bad! Must be true, as the democrats have done an abrupt 180 and now question military action against them. Soleimani was on a peace mission to achieve a cease-fire between Saudi Arabia and Iran, by the way. He's a hero to Shias outside Iran as well, all over the middle east, especially in Iraq. Including Shia militias. But, of course, in Iran too. For routing ISIS, despite the US military repeatedly rescuing ISIS troops. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English American dead.” I think it will be that last part. My underlines below.
Surrounded by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff, President Donald Trump walks to the podium to deliver a statement in the Grand Foyer of the White House, in response to Iran firing more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops, on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Pete Marovich/Abaca Press/TNS)
President Donald Trump said Monday "it doesn't really matter" if Iran's top general was plotting attacks on Americans at the time of his death.
Trump's about-face contradicts his and his administration's repeated assertions that the president only ordered the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani to prevent the Iranian Quds Force general from carrying out "imminent" attacks on American troops and diplomats in the Middle East.
"The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was 'imminent' or not, & was my team in agreement," Trump tweeted. "The answer to both is a strong YES, but it doesn't really matter because of his horrible past!"
The mixed signals from Trump comes as his Cabinet officials keep contradicting each other while giving justifications for the Jan. 3 airstrike that killed Soleimani outside a Baghdad airport.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday he had seen no intelligence to back up the president's claim a few days earlier that the "imminent" attacks Soleimani was allegedly planning targeted four U.S. embassies.
Former U.S. officials say they can think of no scenario under which a president would be privy to military intelligence that a defense secretary did not know of.
"Unless standard operating procedures for sharing intelligence in the USG have changed radically since the time I served in the Obama administration, there is no way that the president, but not the secretary of defense, would have this kind of intel. No way," tweeted Michael McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, said last week he didn't know "exactly where" or "exactly when" Soleimani was going to strike, only to backtrack and claim he was definitely targeting American embassies.
Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have said Trump administration officials did not provide sufficient explanations in classified briefings last week as to why the U.S. needed to kill Soleimani, who effectively served as Iran's second-in-command directly under the supreme leader.