President Donald Trump explained Thursday night why he’d chosen to leave congressional Democrats out of the loop about the drone strike last week that eliminated top Iranian general and terrorist mastermind Qasem Soleimani.
Speaking in Toledo, Ohio, at his first campaign rally of the year, the president attributed the decision to the Democrats’ propensity for leaking anything and everything that might stymie his administration’s agenda, regardless of the consequences.
“We have Bernie [Sanders] and Nancy Pelosi all involved, trying to say, ‘How dare you take him out that way; 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,'” he said mockingly.
(Source: Fox News)
He added that when the time to eliminate Soleimani arrived, he had only minutes (if not seconds) to choose whether or not to take the shot.
“These are split-second decisions. … We didn’t have the time to call up Nancy, who is not operating with a full deck,” the president explained. “Now they want us to call. Can you imagine calling crooked Adam Schiff. He is so crooked, Shifty Schiff.”
So crooked, Trump continued, that had he told the House Intelligence Committee chair beforehand about the operation, Schiff would have probably leaked the details.
“Adam, how are you doing?” he said, improvising what his call with Schiff would have sounded like. “Listen, we have the world’s number one terrorist. He’s killed thousands of people. We would like to set up a meeting so we can discuss his execution. … We’ve got them lined up, Adam, you little Pencil Neck … we’ve got them lined up. We’ve got to take this guy out. We are not going to have another shot at him maybe ever again.”
Upon learning about the operation, Schiff would have immediately rushed to CNN to let them in on all the details, the president predicted.
“Schiff is the big leaker,” he said. “He leaks [to] crazy CNN. … But he leaks, so he will say, ‘You know, off the record … they’ve got the number one terrorist in the world, Soleimani, they are gonna get them, they’re gonna take him out in the next 10 minutes.'”
And the next thing his administration would have known, Trump continued, CNN would have run a breaking “bombshell” news story announcing, “We have breaking news. President Trump within the next 20 to 25 minutes looks to be taking out terrorist Gen. Soleimani. He’s gonna do it. It should be happening in the next 20 minutes.”
“Then we get back to the battlefield,” the president said, describing what would have happened next in this fictional scenario. “How’d you do fellas? I don’t know sir, he disappeared.”
While this hypothetical is already being described as “utterly depraved” and “dishonest” by the same media that shrugged in indifference when Schiff offered up his own hypothetical “parody” during a congressional hearing (versus a casual campaign rally), the fact remains that Democrats do have a history of leaking virtually everything.
For proof, one need only turn to The Washington Post …
“Democrats are leaking derogatory information about the president, while restricting public access to potentially exculpatory information, all while denying him the right to see or challenge testimony against him,” the paper’s lone conservative columnist, Marc A. Thiessen, wrote last year in a scathing critique of the Democrats’ impeachment efforts.
Similar leaks occurred during both Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing and former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe:
Make no mistake. Only one party took the allegations of Dr. Ford seriously while respecting the due process of Judge Kavanaugh: the Republican Party.
Democrats cared about scoring cheap political points which is why they sat on the allegation & leaked ID!pic.twitter.com/ArEJxAlVkV
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) October 2, 2018
Multiple GOP House Intel lawmakers continue to bring up how they became jaded by Russia probe when, as they say, Democrats leaked the Hope Hicks “white lies” story. This was last month and they still seem angry about it/keep mentioning it.
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) March 22, 2018
During the rally Thursday, the president also accused congressional Democrats and their allies of condemning Soleimani’s elimination.
“I see the radical left Democrats have expressed outrage over the termination of this horrible terrorist,” he said. “You know, instead they should be outraged by Soleimani’s savage crimes and his countless victims. … So now he’s gone and that’s a good thing, [yet] Bernie Sanders, crazy Bernie, has condemned the U.S. military strike.”
After news of the strike broke last Thursday, the 2020 contender and senator described the strike as an “assassination” and a “dangerous escalation” that “brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars.”
A week has since passed, and “another disastrous war” has not been triggered. If anything, Iran has reportedly bent the knee, thus proving, as supporters of the strike have alleged, that Trump’s policy of deterrence is working successfully.
This was Deterrence 101. There was no indicator at any time that Trump was desperate for war. And there was very good reason to believe that Iran would back down — namely, that they would actually lose a war. The point of peace through strength is PEACE.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 8, 2020
However, with reports now emerging that Iran accidentally shot down a passenger jet during all the turmoil, some Democrats have taken to suggesting that Trump deserves some of the blame for the rogue nation’s own glaring incompetence.
Innocent civilians are now dead because they were caught in the middle of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat.
My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of all 176 souls lost aboard this flight. https://t.co/zWaVgWxfdL
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 9, 2020
Republicans, of course, disagree with this line of thinking:
Uh, Pete, they weren’t “caught in the middle.” They were shot down BY IRAN. Military incompetence by the leading state sponsor of terrorism. Just because Dems hate Trump doesn’t justify false equivalence w/ Iran. Soleimani was a brutal terrorist who killed hundreds of Americans. https://t.co/KiGS8p5kHL
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 9, 2020
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