Trump: Iranian General Was ‘Saying Bad Things’ About US
Says Soleimani’s comments led to decision to kill him
President Trump has struggled with legal justifications for the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, failing to back up claims of an “imminent” threat, claiming that didn’t matter because of bad things he’d done. On Friday, Trump suggested to donors that Soleimani was killed not because of what he did, but because of what he said.
Trump made the comments at a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser, saying that he heard Soleimani’s comments, and asked “how much of this shit do we have to listen to?” Trump made no mention of any threats in his decision to kill Soleimani.
This is particularly noteworthy because it represents another example of the president changing his story on the controversial assassination, one which very easily could have led to a major war with Iran.
Claims of an “imminent threat,” true or not, are always made by the US military after an attack because it is one of very few legal pretexts established for carrying out an otherwise aggressive attack. Being insulted by what Soleimani was saying, naturally, is not a legal justification of any sort.
That in less than two weeks the president has repeatedly changed his justification isn’t a good sign, and that this most recent narrative was offered only during a private dinner to his donors, suggests that this was neither meant for public consumption, nor a very good justification at all.
This also came just a day after Trump warned Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to “be careful with his words” after a critical sermon. In this new context, we are clearly meant to understand that if Trump didn’t like what he said, it might easily be a reason for him to be killed.