Warren Upstages Trump During Sunday ‘Meet The Press’ Appearance

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The world is continuing to feel the shock waves from President Donald Trump’s abruptly ordered airstrike that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. The Trump administration has claimed that the reckless escalation of tension was necessary to thwart an incoming major attack against U.S. interests, but they have yet to produce any apparent compelling evidence for that claim. This weekend during an appearance on Meet the Press, Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren gave a voice to the concerns of many when she suggested that Trump’s motivation for the strike could be distracting Americans (and the world) from impeachment, or something similarly entirely self-serving.

Soleimani is not a new target. He led Iranian military operations, including against Americans, through a total of four different presidential administrations, including, besides Trump, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. No other White House team went after him over fears of Iranian retaliation, but Trump seems willing to throw restraint — and concern for the lives at stake — to the wind.

Warren pointed out that thanks to immediate threats of Iranian retaliation, we are “not safer because Donald Trump had Soleimani killed,” adding:

‘Donald Trump was doing what Donald Trump does and advancing his own personal interests. Next week he faces the start, potentially, of an impeachment trial. And why now? I think people are starting to ask, ‘why now did he do this?’

Before he was president, Trump — who has a documented tendency towards projection — even baselessly accused then-President Obama of gearing up to attack Iran in an effort to garner political support. Now, that’s the danger that Trump himself poses.

Warren continued:

‘The administration can’t keep its story straight, and in the case of Ukraine, it was all about protecting Donald Trump’s skin! We know that Donald Trump is very upset about this upcoming impeachment trial, but look what he’s doing now. He is taking us to the edge of war, and now, he’s talking about expanding that war… The job is the president is to keep us safer. The job of the president is not to move us to the edge of war.’

One prominent reporter who covers counterterrorism and Middle Eastern affairs shared that according to high-ranking sources, the actual evidence for the Trump administration’s story that there was an imminent threat to Americans warranting the Soleimani strike is “razor thin.”

Rukmini Callimachi of The New York Times explained:

‘I’ve had a chance to check in with sources, including two US officials who had intelligence briefings after the strike on Suleimani. Here is what I’ve learned. According to them, the evidence suggesting there was to be an imminent attack on American targets is “razor thin”.

Further clobbering the administration’s story of some kind of imminent attack, Iraqi authorities have revealed that Soleimani’s travel around the Middle East that was used as evidence for his supposed attack planning was actually, at least in part, his part in mediation for peace that Trump had requested. In other words — this situation is not getting any better, and Warren is exactly on the right track.