Trump Says Soleimani Wanted To ‘Blow Up’ U.S. Embassy In Iraq, Tells Pelosi He Doesn’t Need Her Permission (VIDEO)
President Trump on Thursday that Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani “were looking to blow up our embassy” in Iraq before Trump ordered the U.S. military to take the terrorist out.
Trump also declared that as president, he doesn’t need congressional approval to make “split-second” decisions to protect Americans.
“We took him out. We did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy,” Trump said an impromptu press conference in the White House. “I think it was obvious. And he had more than that particular embassy in mind.”
Trump ordered the drone strike on Soleimani last Friday, which congressional leaders on the Democratic side quickly condemned. Ira retaliated by firing missiles at U.S. military bases in Iraq in an ineffectual attack. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to call a vote on Thursday to restrict Trump’s presidential authority to take military action U.S. foes.
Trump said he doesn’t need Congress.
“I don’t have to [get authorization],” Mr. Trump said. “It would all depend on the circumstance. You have to make a split-second decision sometimes. We had a shot at him, and I took it, and that shot was pinpoint accuracy.”
Trump said Pelosi and her fellow Democrats “are trying to defend a monster” by condemning the killing of Soleimani.
“When Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats want to defend him, I think that’s a very bad thing,” he said.
After Trump ordered the attack on Suleimani, Pelosi said the president should have asked for permission from Congress before conducting the airstrike.
“The Administration has conducted tonight’s strikes in Iraq targeting high-level Iranian military officials and killing Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani without an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iran. Further, this action was taken without the consultation of the Congress,” she said last week.
But Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, launched more than 2,800 on Iraq and Syria without congressional approval.
“The U.S. military has been conducting strikes in Iraq for 10 months, and began striking directly at targets in Syria last September as part of Mr. Obama’s announced campaign to degrade the capabilities of the Islamic State,” The Washington Times reported in April 2015.
This past weekend’s attacks brought the total to 1,458 strikes in Iraq and 1,343 in Syria by U.S. forces. Coalition forces allied with the U.S. have conducted another 655 attacks on Iraqi targets and 95 in Syria.
Mr. Obama has justified the attacks under his commander in chief powers and under the 2001 resolution authorizing force against al Qaeda, and the 2002 resolution authorizing the ouster of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill have said Mr. Obama is stretching those laws and that the strikes could be illegal — though they say they want to put them on firm footing by passing a new authorization.
"You know what bothers me? When I see a Nancy Pelosi trying to defend this monster from Iran who killed so many people. So many people are walking around now without legs and without arms… I think that’s a very bad thing for this country." pic.twitter.com/SOBjpPeJkA
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 9, 2020