Trump falsely accuses Pelosi of 'defending' Iran general Soleimani

The president was answering a question about whether he'd ask Congress for permission to attack Iran when he made the claim about Nancy Pelosi

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Thursday 09 January 2020 19:53 GMT
US president Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the Oval Office on 7 January 2020
US president Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the Oval Office on 7 January 2020 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Donald Trump has falsely accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats of "defending" the Iranian general who was killed in a US drone strike last week.

As Mr Trump spoke to reporters at an event to celebrate his administration's attempt to roll back environmental regulations, he was asked if he'd seek approval from Congress for additional military action against Iran.

The president replied by claiming that whether he would seek approval from Congress for future military action would "depend on the circumstances" and asserting that he doesn't need permission. He then falsely claimed that he doesn't need to seek Congress' approval before ordering US troops into battle.

"I don't have to and you shouldn't have to ... because you have to make split-second decisions, sometimes," he said. "Sometimes you have to move very very quickly, but in certain cases I wouldn't even doing it".

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the US Constitution gives Congress the exclusive power to "declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water".

Mr Trump then falsely claimed that Ms Pelosi had attempted to defend Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps general Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian officer whose death sparked a week of heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran, and prompted the speaker to hold a vote on legislation to further restrict Mr Trump's ability to order military action against Iran.

"You know what bothers me? When I see Nancy Pelosi trying to defend this monster from Iran who has killed so many people," Mr Trump said. "When Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats want to defend him ... I think that's a very bad thing for this country".

At no time since last week's drone strike became public has Ms Pelosi or any Democratic member of Congress defended the late general.

When she spoke to reporters during her weekly press conference Thursday morning, Ms Pelosi actually did the opposite. While she told reporters she did not believe "based on what is in the public domain" that Gen Soleimani's death had made the US safer, she added that she had "no illusions about Soleimani," calling him "a terrible person" who "did bad things".

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