Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images
During Donald Trump’s first major rally of the election year, the president criticized House Democrats and defended his decision to launch the airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
“They’re saying, ‘You should get permission from Congress, you should come in and tell us what you want to do — you should come in and tell us, so that we can call up the fake news that’s back there and we can leak it,” Trump told a crowd of supporters Thursday night in Toledo, Ohio.
“We had to make a decision. We didn’t have time to call up Nancy who is not operating with a full deck. Can you imagine calling crooked Adam Schiff?” he said.
Trump then went on to describe various scenarios where he would call congressional Democrats and ask for a meeting, but by the time they would have that meeting, the chance to take out Soleimani would be gone.
He also described a situation where if he were to call Schiff or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, they would leak it to the media and, in the process, warn Soleimani.
“They want us to tell them so that they can leak it to their friends in the corrupt media,” Trump said.
“The radical left Democrats have expressed outrage over the termination of this horrible terrorist,” Trump added.
“Instead, they should be outraged by Soleimani’s savage crimes and the fact that his countless victims were denied justice for so long.”
Ever since the airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport that killed Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, Pelosi and the Democrats have complained that Trump failed to consult them before launching the attack.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a war powers resolution which Pelosi said was meant “to limit the president’s military actions. The administration must de-escalate and must prevent further violence. America and the world cannot afford war.”
Pelosi said the purpose of the resolution is “to protect American lives and values.”
This is not the first time Trump has kept top Democrats in the dark about military action for fear of potential leaks.
In October, Trump did not inform Pelosi or Schiff about the raid that resulted in Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death.
“We were going to notify them last night, but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before. There’s no country in the world that leaks like we do, and Washington is a leaking machine,” Trump said in a media conference.
“And I told my people we will not notify them until our great people are out — not just in but out. I don’t want them greeted with firepower like you wouldn’t believe.”
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