President Trump is out with tweets Friday morning justifying the military strike that killed a top Iranian commander. Qasem Soleimani, the president asserted, got what he deserved. Soleimani "has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more ... but got caught!" Trump wrote. He added that the general "was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people" and suggested Iranians themselves are glad to see him gone, even if they won't admit it. "He should have been taken out many years ago!" concluded Trump. Iran is vowing "severe revenge" and Democratic candidates are condemning the move, but Trump is winning praise from Republicans who also blame Soleimani for the deaths of American soldiers over the years, reports Axios.
- Soleimani "masterminded Iran’s reign of terror for decades, including the deaths of hundreds of Americans," tweeted GOP Sen. Tom Cotton. "Tonight, he got what he richly deserved, and all those American soldiers who died by his hand also got what they deserved: justice."
- Fellow GOP Sens. Marco Rubio (here) and Ben Sasse (here) expressed similar sentiments.
- Democratic senators agreed that Soleimani was an "enemy of the United States," as Sen. Chris Murphy put it, but they questioned the airstrike. "Did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?" wrote Murphy.
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