House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Adam Smith said Thursday that there is no evidence to back claims made by Vice President Mike Pence or other administration officials that Iran intended to kill Americans in its missile strikes earlier this week.
"I can't believe that it's true," the Washington Democrat told CNN's "New Day." "These missiles are very precise. When Iran did the attack on the [Saudi Arabian] Aramco facility, one of the things that people noticed is they hit exactly what they wanted to hit, in some cases within mere feet of what they were trying to hit."
Pence earlier on Thursday told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" that there is "no doubt in my mind that when the Iranians fired those missiles, they were intending to kill Americans." However, he said, tragedy was averted because of intelligence warning about the impending attacks.
Smith commented that the missile strikes instead look like an "empty show of force," adding that he finds Iran's reaction to the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani as "curious."
"I can't believe that if Iran wanted to kill Americans in that part of the world, that they couldn't have done it with the ballistic missiles they launched," said Smith.
In addition, killing Soleimani doesn't undermine Iran's interest in getting the United States out of the Middle East and the pressure off of the Iranian regime, said Smith.
"Remember there have been protests throughout Iran and Iraq, focused on the Iranian regime," said Smith. "They have been under a lot of pressure. After the killing of Soleimani, people are united in their hatred of the U.S. for doing this strike."
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