Report: Trump Ordered Iran Strike Because of Impeachment Fears

Was there actually an “imminent” threat, or was it a political calculation?

Tasos Katopodis/Getty

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To justify its drone strike against Qassem Soleimani, the White House claimed last week that the top Iranian military leader had been preparing “imminent” attacks against American diplomats in the region. That claim has since evolved, as various Trump administration officials struggled on multiple occasions to explain what exactly defines an “imminent” threat.

“We don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where, but it was real,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Thursday, remarks many interpreted as an admission that Soleimani did not actually pose a grave and immediate threat to American lives.

But while the White House continues to be all over the map on this, a new report appears to confirm a sneaking suspicion held by Trump critics for why Trump ordered the strike at this very point in his presidency. From the Wall Street Journal:

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.

The New York Times reported something similar this week, stating that Trump had said in a phone call that “he had been pressured to take a harder line on Iran by some Republican senators whose support he needs now more than ever amid an impeachment battle.”

If this reporting is true, it’s hard to overstate how explosive it would be that the president of the United States nearly started a war in order to appease a handful of Republican senators before impeachment arrives in the Senate. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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