Pompeo, Esper, Milley, and Haspel did the classified briefing to the House and are now making the same presentation to the Senate. Responses broke along party lines.
Rep Gerry Connolly, a Democratic Foreign Affairs Committee member, says was utterly unpersuaded by the motive, reason and evidence of the killing of Iranian top Military, General Qassem Soleimani by the just concluded Congress briefing by the White House on imminent threat to US
— David Ogega Bwochora (@dbwochora) January 8, 2020
“I believe this administration, after the fact, is trying to piece together a rationale for its action that was impulsive, reckless, and put this country’s security at risk.”
Bipartisan disagreement emerging from House briefing. “Nothing that was said today says that to me” the threat was imminent, said Dem Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio. “The presentation did not in any way show it was imminent.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 8, 2020
Senate now in recess until 3:45pm allowing all Senators to attend a classified briefing on US military strike against Soleimani with Secs Esper and Pompeo, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Milley, CIA Dir Haspel & Acting DNI Maguire. House had their Iran briefing within the last hour.
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) January 8, 2020
"I walk away unsatisfied," says @SenatorMenendez after classified Senate briefing on killing of Soleimani. "We have more questions than we have answers at the end of the day,” he told reporters. pic.twitter.com/xId3uM0V4z
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) January 8, 2020
— Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) January 8, 2020
Pelosi says the war powers resolution to limit Trump on Iran will come to the House floor tomorrow.
“Today, to honor our duty to keep the American people safe, the House will move forward with a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran.“
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 8, 2020
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) January 8, 2020
News Analysis: The Trump administration has scrambled to explain its mission and goals in the Middle East amid a chaotic brew of conflicting statements, crossed signals and mixed messages https://t.co/uWV7qxd4EF
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) January 8, 2020
On whether Obama admin paid for missiles that hit Iraqi bases per @realDonaldTrump, @AmbassadorRice: "This is another series of despicable lies by President Trump. Fact that 3 years after taking office he remains obsessed w/ Pres Obama shows (his) extreme weakness & insecurity."
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) January 8, 2020
– JCPOA didn't "give" Iran $150b.
– JCPOA doesn't "expire shortly".
– JCPOA doesn't "give a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout".
– JCPOA "defective" except in the sense of keeping nuclear program in check and under inspections.
Aside from that, though… https://t.co/qF9ImyvPGV
— Ali Vaez (@AliVaez) January 8, 2020
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) January 8, 2020
I’m guessing that if Iran announced it wasn’t abiding by JCPOA limits, the counter ISIS mission was suspended, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel US forces, and Iran fired off ballistic missiles at US bases, no one would say Obama had a win.
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) January 8, 2020
Does the White House have docents? If so, find one and ask that person to take you to the White House Press Briefing Room.
There is no such thing, you say? Aye, but there is. I know; I've seen it. That's where, in olden days, the Press Secretary would brief the press . . . https://t.co/I6yQQhleLZ
— Steve Daniels (@Steve_Daniels3) January 8, 2020
Glad Trump began today by quoting Obama about Iran not getting a nuclear weapon. As Obama said at the announcement of #JCPOA in August 2015, "Iran is never allowed to build a nuclear weapon." Only when Trump pulled out of the deal did Iranian missile attacks on US soldiers begin.
— Richard Stengel (@stengel) January 8, 2020
Not just hitting dirt…
Pentagon believes there was a political decision taken in Tehran NOT to kill Americans – that is why target at Al Asad chosen – large base with a lot of empty space. Even within that target, the Iranians chose to hit dirt rather than runways etc so as not to escalate militarily.
The flying time from Iran to Irbil is between 3-5 minutes – 4 missiles failed – they did not reach their target, crashing short perhaps due to motor failure, according to this US military official. Some of these missiles are using decades old ballistic missile technology.
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) January 8, 2020
- The Pentagon does not believe cruise missiles were used. These were NOT the most state of the art Iranian missiles, according to a senior US military source. The flying time from Iran to Asad air base in Anbar is about 15 mins, I am told.
- The US has Patriot missile batteries guarding strategic assets in Baghdad and guarding bases in the region: Kuwait, Qatar etc. NOT guarding Al Asad or Erbil bases. Most of Iran’s ballistic missiles are pointed at American bases in the Gulf – Qatar, UAE, Kuwait.
- The US had repositioned its forces after the Soleimani killing from small outposts to the larger protected bases. The 82nd airborne which flew in from Ft Bragg remained in Kuwait because they were protected by a “Patriot missile defense shield umbrella,” I am told.
- Also, in terms of the killing of Soleimani, this active duty military source who serves in the Pentagon said there was complete unity at the senior ranks of the defense department about killing Soleimani. “No one said it was a bad idea,” this source told me.
- US military source: There was recognition that Iran would respond. There were preps made all the way up until the President’s speech this morning. The US military knew what was coming – “just did not know exact magnitude.” There was chatter that was intercepted ahead of time.
- Pentagon believes there was a political decision taken in Tehran NOT to kill Americans – that is why target at Al Asad chosen – large base with a lot of empty space. Even within that target, the Iranians chose to hit dirt rather than runways etc so as not to escalate militarily.
- US military source: The Iranian response was for domestic political consumption and designed to cause minimal damage, that according to the Pentagon’s latest assessment.