President Donald Trump threw the Middle East into chaos with his recent abruptly ordered assassination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who was also a top political leader in the country. Trump’s administration has attempted to defend the strike by claiming that it was necessary to thwart some kind of imminent attack on U.S. interests — but in an appearance on Fox News this past Thursday night, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo himself admitted that the White House didn’t know when or where that presumed strike would take place. That’s not imminent! House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) denounced the administration’s shallow reasoning in a Twitter takedown.
‘I’ve been a member of the Intel Committee for over a decade. Been briefed hundreds of times on threats — some imminent, some not. When targeting a top gov’t official for killing: “We don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where,” does not constitute “imminent.”’
I’ve been a member of the Intel Committee for over a decade.
Been briefed hundreds of times on threats — some imminent, some not. When targeting a top gov’t official for killing:
“We don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where,” does not constitute “imminent.” https://t.co/1sL8uEVDWI
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 10, 2020
The de facto responses from the White House to Schiff in general are mockingly laughable at best. At a recent campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio — his first such event of 2020 — Trump railed on about Schiff, deriding him over his supposed “pencil neck” and referring to him as “crooked” and “shifty.” (Trump definitely seems like he’s projecting on those last two points.)
Trump calls Schiff, “Crooked”, “Shifty”, “Pencil Neck” in Toledo.
This is the type of leader you get when a political party courts the uneducated, misinformed, racist & sexist.
There is no argument; only vendettas, bullying & bluster masked as strength. pic.twitter.com/ylGGLS6IUz
— Millennial Politics (@MillenPolitics) January 11, 2020
Meanwhile, Pompeo has attempted to clean up the absolute mess of the claims the administration has made about intelligence that led to the Soleimani strike, but it’s not working. This past week, he even implied that Senators were lying when they said that the administration hadn’t presented them with any evidence of an actual imminent attack. But again, it’s Pompeo himself who said on national television that “there is no doubt that there were a series of imminent attacks being plotted by Qasem Soleimani” but “we don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where, but it was real.” Something happening somewhere at some point is not exactly the same thing as imminence! Especially not the kind of imminence that warrants increased danger for the United States.
REPORTER: Why are you saying that Soleimani presented an imminent threat against embassies here but not to senators during this week's briefing?
POMPEO: We did.
REPORTER: So senators are lying?
POMPEO: I won't talk about the details. pic.twitter.com/91NoZLoJ1G
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 10, 2020
Check out Twitter’s response to Schiff…