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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo(R) listens as US President Donald Trump speaks about the situation with Iran in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, DC, January 8, 2020. (Photo: Eric Baradat BARADAT / AFP via Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo(R) listens as US President Donald Trump speaks about the situation with Iran in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, DC, January 8, 2020. (Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images)

'Strike of Choice': US Lawmakers Decry 'Utterly Unconvincing' Trump Briefing on Soleimani Assassination

Not just Democrats, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said what Trump officials presented was "the worst briefing I've had on a military issue in my nine years" serving in the Senate.

Jon Queally

Congressional Democrats emerged from a classified briefing presented by Trump administration officials on Wednesday afternoon and decried the "sophomoric and utterly unconvincing" body of evidence that was put forth to justify last week's assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani.

"We did not get information inside that briefing that there was specific, imminent threat that we were halting by conducting that operation... I think it is likely because it doesn't exist." —Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) reacted to the briefing by saying that rather than showing Soleimani posed an "imminent" threat as President Donald Trump and his top officials have repeatedly claimed, the military operation—based on the evidence presented—appears to be nothing more than a "strike of choice" by the administration.

"I was deeply surprised at the lack of information presented by the administration regarding a specific imminent threat," Murphy told reporters. "We did not get information inside that briefing that there was specific, imminent threat that we were halting by conducting that operation."

Murphy said that not being shown more substantial and convincing evidence was both surprising and saddening, but added, "I think it is likely because it doesn't exist."

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, told reporters the briefing "was sophomoric and utterly unconvincing."

Connolly said he was "unpersuaded about any evidence about the imminence of a threat that was new or compelling."

Disgust with the presented case did not only come from Democrats. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), standing beside an equally unconvinced Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), told reporters after the closed-door session that it was "the worst briefing I've had on a military issue in my nine years" serving in the Senate.

"I find this insulting and demeaning," Lee added, telling reporters that he now plans to vote in favor of a War Powers Resolution put forth by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).


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Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·


Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·


Pointing to 'Recently Obtained Evidence,' Jan. 6 Panel Calls Surprise Tuesday Hearing

The announcement came less than a week after the House panel delayed new hearings until next month, citing a "deluge" of fresh evidence.

Common Dreams staff ·

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