Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday there may be “a little noise” from Iran over the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, but defended the Trump administration’s decision to launch the drone strike in which Tehran’s top military commander was killed.
Pompeo said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the U.S. is “absolutely” safer after last week’s strike in Baghdad.
Host Chuck Todd questioned Pompeo over seemingly conflicting points, asking him how the secretary of State can “square” his statement that the U.S. is safer while the administration is also advising Americans to leave the region and brace for cyberattacks.
“It doesn’t sound like we’re safer today,” Todd said.
“We do expect retaliation on American citizens, correct?”
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 5, 2020
“We’re definitely safer today, 100 percent certainty that America is safer today,” Pompeo responded.
Todd again asked Pompeo why the U.S. is putting out warnings, then, and if the U.S. expects relation against American citizens.
“President Trump is focused deeply on keeping Americans safe over the long haul, preserving, protecting, defending America is the mission that we have,” Pompeo said.
“It may be there’s a little noise here in the interim, that the Iranians make the choice to respond, I hope that they don’t. President Trump has made clear what we will do in response if they do.”
In an early morning tweet Sunday, Trump touted the U.S. military strength and warned against retaliation for the killing.
In a separate tweet late Saturday night, he said the U.S. would hit Iran “harder than they have ever been hit before” if they attack.