Conservative commentator Dan Bongino argued that “the imminent threat” Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani posed was “having a pulse” while justifying President Trump‘s decision to launch the drone strike that killed the military commander in Iraq.
“The imminent threat was Soleimani having a pulse,” Bongino, a former Secret Service agent, said Monday on “Fox & Friends,” a show that is often praised by the president.
“His résumé,” added co-host Brian Kilmeade.
“This is probably one of those times we should at least give Donald Trump, the American government, the benefit of the doubt based on the goal and the end game of killing this terrorist,” Bongino continued.
“Listen, I did this for years at the highest levels in the Secret Service, designing security plans in some of the world’s hot zones,” Bongino added. “You evaluate a threat for being dangerous based on past history and you need to take action. This is common sense. Only a moron would think otherwise.”
Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was considered one of Tehran’s most powerful generals. The U.S. says he was also responsible for killing hundreds of U.S. soldiers during the Iraq War.
“At the end of the day, Soleimani was planning an attack against multiple sites,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CNN on Sunday, adding that “at least” the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was included on that list. “Taking [Soleimani] off the battlefield … was the right thing to do.”
Democrats, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have questioned whether an imminent threat was posed at the time of Soleimani’s killing, as administration officials have claimed without providing evidence.
Trump in a tweet on Monday argued that Soleimani didn’t need to pose an imminent threat, pointing to “his horrible past” in taking out U.S. service members.
“The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was ‘eminent’ or not, & was my team in agreement,” Trump tweeted said.
“The answer to both is a strong YES., but it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past!” the president added.