Trump: ‘It doesn’t really matter’ whether Soleimani posed imminent threat to United States
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Monday defended his decision to kill Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, and said “it doesn’t really matter” whether Soleimani posed an imminent threat to the United States.
“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 wrote on Twitter.
“The answer to both is a strong YES., but it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past!”
Democrats, who are trying to pass legislation to rein in Trump’s ability to wage war on Iran without lawmakers’ approval, have sharply disagreed.
“You cannot take military action against another nation without congressional consent unless to defend against an imminent attack,” Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said on Twitter.
“It’s clear now this was an illegal action. That also has made America less safe,” he said, noting an NBC News report that Trump had authorized the killing of Soleimani seven months ago.
Since confirming Soleimani was killed by a U.S. air strike in Baghdad, administration officials have said they acted because of an imminent risk of attacks on American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.
But lawmakers, including some Republicans as well as Democrats, have said the administration has failed to show any evidence that an attack was imminent.
Trump’s fellow Republicans have justified the killing by citing Soleimani’s history, and accuse Democrats of playing politics. Relations between the two parties are at a particularly difficult juncture, given the vote last year to impeach Trump in the Democratic-led House and his upcoming trial in the Republican-led Senate.
Attorney General William Barr told reporters on Monday that the White House consulted with his department before the strike. Barr said Soleimani was a “legitimate military target” and the strike was a …read more
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