President Donald Trump told a rally in Toledo, Ohio on Thursday night that if he had shared his plans to take out Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani with top Democrats, they would have leaked the story to the media.
“You should come in and tell us so that we can call up the fake news that’s back there and we can leak it,” he said. “That’s a lot of corruption back there, folks.”
Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s terrorist Quds Force, died in a U.S. strike ordered Jan. 3 by President Donald Trump.
His death resulted in mass protests in Iran with people in the streets chanting “Death to America,” with one poster reading: “It is our right to seek a harsh revenge,” reinforcing words from Iranian leaders. (RELATED: Michael Moore Offers Personal Assistance To Iran To ‘Fix This Peacefully’)
Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and another top White House official have all said the terrorist leader was planning further strikes against U.S. forces stationed in Iraq, following the storming of the American embassy in Baghdad at the end of December.
Trump also hammered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for what he described as her criticism for the action against Soleimani.
“Do you believe that one? Nancy. Nancy. Nervous Nancy. But here’s a guy who slaughtered and butchered civilians all over and military, whoever was in his way. And we have [Independent Vermont Sen.] Bernie [Sanders] and Nancy Pelosi, we have them all,” Trump said. “They’re all trying to say ‘how dare you take him out that way? You should get permission from Congress. You should come in and tell us what you want to do.’”
The president’s remarks provoked “boos” from the audience as well as a chorus of “CNN sucks!”
Trump claimed that it would not only be imprudent to discuss such planning with top Democrats, it could also compromise the operation.
“These are split-second decisions. You have to make a decision. So they don’t want me to make that decision. They want me to call up, maybe go over there. Let me go over to Congress. Come on over to the White House. Let’s talk about it,” said Trump. (RELATED: Marco Rubio Says Security Briefing Was ‘Compelling,’ Marking Apparent Divide With Fellow Sen. Mike Lee)
“No, we got a call. We heard where he was. We knew the way he was getting there, and we had to make a decision,” he continued. “We didn’t have time to call up Nancy, who is not operating with a full deck. No, they want us to call — can you imagine?”
Trump then turned his ire on Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff, who, as chairman of House Intelligence Committee, led the impeachment inquiry against Trump. The president called Schiff “so crooked” and “a big leaker.”
“He leaks to crazy CNN,” Trump said. “Not too many people are watching CNN, but he leaks. So he will say, you know, off the record, ‘I’ve got to hurry up because everyone’s watching me in the hallway on my cell phone.’”