WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump gave a speech at a private fundraiser that divulged the details of his assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani on Friday evening–but did not mention any “imminent threat” that his administration has cited as the reason for Soleimani’s killing.
On Saturday, CNN obtained audio of the fundraiser, which was held at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. In the audio, Trump is heard telling donors that he had decided to order a drone strike on Soleimani because the military leader was “saying bad things about our country.”
“How much of this shit do we have to listen to?” the President said in his speech. “How much are we going to listen to?”
The “threat” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top administration officials have claimed Soleimani posed to the U.S. did not come up in Trump’s remarks, CNN reported.
Ever since Soleimani’s assassination on January 3, Trump, Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper have made vague and inconsistent claims to the public about Soleimani’s alleged planned attacks against the U.S.
Democrats have slammed Trump’s authorization of the strike as unnecessary aggression toward Iran, and even GOP Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) criticized the move after the administration gave lawmakers what Lee called “probably the worst briefing I’ve seen” on the strike.