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Defense Sec. 'Didn't See' Rationale for Trump's Big Move

And other quotes around the Sunday dial
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2020 12:20 PM CST
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Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrives to brief members of the Senate on the details of the threat that prompted the U.S. to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – Was there a rationale for killing Iran's top general? Defense Secretary Mark Esper seemed to convey mixed messages Sunday on that hot-button topic, the New York Times reports. On CBS' Face the Nation, Esper cast some doubt on President Trump's claim that he ordered Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani's death because of an Iranian threat to strike four US embassies. "I didn't see one with regard to four embassies," said Esper, who added that "I share the president's view that probably—my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies. The embassies are the most prominent display of American presence in a country." For more, including a barely veiled threat from Nancy Pelosi:

  • Belief: "What the president said with regard to the four embassies is what I believe as well," Esper said in another interview on CNN's State of the Union, per Politico. "He said that he believed that they probably, they could have been targeting the embassies in the region."

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