Many people, including 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, have speculated that Donald Trump may have considered his impending impeachment trial when deciding whether or not to kill Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani. On Thursday, the president seemingly confirmed that he felt “pressure” to address the situation in order to influence key GOP allies in the Senate.
According to Mediaite, a piece in the Wall Street Journal detailed Trump’s decision to strike the Iranian leader and the aftermath of the decision. While the article covered a lot of ground, one element was particularly surprising.
“Mr. Trump, after the strike, told associates he was under pressure to deal with Gen. Soleimani from GOP senators he views as important supporters in his coming impeachment trial in the Senate, associates said,” according to the report.
The Journal also reported that the president made a conscious decision to leave out some of the people who would normally be consulted before deciding to make such a strike.
“In the strike on Gen. Soleimani, some high-ranking officials who ordinarily would be consulted in advance — and leaned on to later explain it publicly — said they learned of the action from news reports. That evening, Mr. Trump retweeted a picture of the Stars and Stripes,” the report reads.
Warren speculated earlier this week that perhaps Trump had ordered the surprise strike, which took place near the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq, in order to distract the public from the impending Senate impeachment trial.
The Democratic candidate for president told CNN anchor Jake Tapper, according to a separate Mediaite report, that she was suspicious of the timing, given that Trump has been obviously upset about impeachment.
“Why does he pick now to take this highly inflammatory, highly dangerous action that moves us closer to war?” she asked.
She added that the U.S. has been involved in a conflict in the Middle East for two decades and that the country should be moving away from war, not towards it.
We don't need a president who undermines our allies and escalates tensions. We don't need a president who tweets threats of war crimes.
We need a president with a sound strategy, willing to use every diplomatic and economic tool we have to step us back from the brink of war. pic.twitter.com/JXlgROyuLi
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 8, 2020
Tapper pushed Warren to clarify what she meant, and she said that she had noted that people were asking about the timing of the airstrike, which took out two cars containing Soleimani and other important Iraqi militia figures.
The impeachment process has stalled as Nancy Pelosi withholds the articles of impeachment until trial rules can be worked out that she deems fair. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the trial will begin in the Senate next week, as The Inquisitr previously reported.