Mike Pompeo claims strike killing Iranian general was a 'collective decision' despite report saying leaders were 'stunned' by Trump's choice
- Mike Pompeo backed Trump over the death of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an interview on CBS News' Face The Nation on Sunday with host Margaret Brennan.
- Pompeo told Brennan that it was a "collective decision" to kill the Iranian commander and that it was the "right decision."
- "There was sound and just and legal reason for the actions the president took and the world is safer as a result of the bold action President Trump took," he added.
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Mike Pompeo is backing Trump over the death of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani as tensions between the US and Iran continue to grow.
In an interview on CBS News' Face The Nation on Sunday host Margaret Brennan, Pompeo said that it was a "collective decision" to kill the Iranian commander and that it was the "right decision."
"He not only caused enormous death and destruction throughout the region, killed hundreds of Americans over the years, but had done so in the past couple of days, killed an American on December 27. We watched him continue to actively build-out for what was going to be a significant attack. That's what we believed and we made the right decision," he told Brennan.
"It was intelligence analysis that doing nothing created far more risks than the action that we took," he added. "There was sound and just and legal reason for the actions the president took and the world is safer as a result of the bold action President Trump took."
Pompeo's assertion that leadership was in agreement about the decision seemingly contradicts a New York Times report from Saturday that said that the strike on Soleimani was presented on a menu of options, and was meant to be an extreme possibility meant to make the other choices seem more palatable. The report said top military officials were "stunned."
Trump previously said that the US airstrike in which the general was killed in Iraq was meant to "stop a war."
"We take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over," he said of Soleimani. "We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war."
But Soleimani's death has heightened tensions between the US and Iran, and the country is now promising to take revenge.
Brennan pressed Pompeo to comment on this but he stressed again that it would have been worse to do nothing at all.
"Qassem Soleimani killed hundreds of Americans. To take a terrorist off the battlefield does not increase the risk of terror. The risk of terror is increased by appeasement. That's what the Obama- Obama-Biden administration did. It's what President Trump will never do," he said.
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