- The Washington Times - Friday, January 10, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that Iran was plotting “imminent” attacks against U.S. embassies and other facilities when President Trump ordered the attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

“We had specific information on imminent threats,” Mr. Pompeo told reporters at the White House as the U.S. hit Iran with new economic sanctions. “I don’t know exactly which minute, you don’t know exactly which day it would have been executed, but it was very clear: Qassem Soleimani himself was plotting a broad, large-scale attack against American interests.”

Several lawmakers have complained that administration officials didn’t tell them in closed-door briefings that Soleimani was plotting to attack embassies. Mr. Pompeo pushed back on that.

“We did [tell them],” Mr. Pompeo said. “We told them about the imminent threat. This was going to happen. American lives were at risk. There was active plotting.”

He said the administration would have been “culpably negligent in failing to act, and he said the president “made the right call” in authorizing the killing of Soleimani.

Mr. Trump said at a campaign rally Thursday night that Soleimani was planning attacks not only at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, but on other embassies as well.

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