Secretary of Defense Mark Esper appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday and admitted that Donald Trump did not provide him with any evidence of Qassem Soleimani’s alleged plans to attack four U.S. embassies. Regardless, Esper agreed with the president that an attack was being planned.
In response to a clip of Esper’s appearance, Independent Justin Amash suggested that the lack of intelligence around the Soleimani attack is a sign that the Trump administration fabricated the reports of the threat the Iranian general allegedly posed to the United States.
“The administration didn’t present evidence to Congress regarding even one embassy,” the Michigan Rep. tweeted.
“The four embassies claim seems to be totally made up. And they have never presented evidence of imminence — a necessary condition to act without congressional approval — with respect to any of this.”
Amash also took aim at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said on Fox News that Soleimani posed an “imminent” threat to U.S. interests while admitting he was unsure of when and where.
“We don’t know when and where. But it was real,” Amash described Pompeo’s comments.
“This is about as much as they told Congress in a classified setting.”
The 39-year-old politician also blasted Trump for claiming on Fox that Soleimani was planning attacks on four embassies. He claimed that when Trump “lies or embellishes on a topic this sensitive” and administration officials support and spread his claims to avoid punishment, U.S. citizens and soldiers are put in an “extremely dangerous” situation.
He sells troops.
“We have a very good relationship with Saudi Arabia—I said, listen, you’re a very rich country. You want more troops? I’m going to send them to you, but you’ve got to pay us. They’re paying us. They’ve already deposited $1B in the bank.” pic.twitter.com/rc1f7heyCP
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 11, 2020
The Trump administration’s handling of the Soleimani attack — in particular, the lack of intelligence it has provided — has been unsettling to many. Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee recently expressed their dismay at the intelligence briefing on the drone strike, which reportedly contained little detail. In addition, administration officials allegedly told Senators to avoid publicly debating Trump’s decision.
As The Inquisitr reported, Lee appeared on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday and expressed his worries over the integrity of the information the Trump administration has presented to justify its attack on Iran. The Utah politician pointed to the United States government’s previous lies that drove the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan — the latter which continues to this day. Although Lee admitted he doesn’t believe the government is an inherently evil institution that is always lying, he nevertheless noted the importance of maintaining a healthy degree of skepticism.
“And so that’s important to ask these questions, to make sure that we know the details,” he said.