Pompeo reasserts that Soleimani posed imminent threat, but won't define 'imminent'
Jan. 10, 2020
Washington (CNN) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday reasserted that the strike on Qasem Soleimani was as a result of an imminent threat. But pressed by reporters to define "imminent," Pompeo didn't offer a time frame.
"This was gonna happen and American lives were at risk and we would've been culpably negligent ... had we not recommended (to) the President that he take this action," Pompeo said. "He made the right call and America is safer as a result of that."
Asked in the White House briefing room to specify whether there was an imminent threat that had to do with American embassies, Pompeo said: "We had specific information on an imminent threat and those included attack on US embassies. Period, full stop."
Asked if he was mistaken when he said he didn't have a precise time for those potential attacks, Pompeo responded: "Nope. Completely true."
"Those are completely consistent thoughts. I don't know exactly which minute. We don't know exactly which day it would have been executed, but it was very clear. Qasem Soleimani himself was plotting a large-scale attack on American interests and those attacks were imminent."
The House passed a War Powers resolution along nearly partisan lines Thursday in response to the Trump administration's Soleimani strike and it's justification for taking the action.
"Members of Congress have serious, urgent concerns about the administration's decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she announced the House vote.
CNN's Clare Foran contributed to this report.
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