Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday insisted the deadly airstrike attack on Iran’s top military leader, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, made the world a “safer place.”
In the first of a string of Sunday morning news show appearances, Pompeo told ABC News’ “This Week” that Soleimani “was a bad guy.”
“It’s very clear the world’s a safer place today,” Pompeo declared. “This was a bad guy, we took him off the playing field,” he added, saying President Donald Trump “made the right decision to stop [Soleimani] from the terror campaign he was involved in.”
“We’re taking the actions we need to take to protect American interests…. throughout the region,” he said.
In a separate interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Pompeo also said he was confident the Iraqi people wanted U.S. troops to remain there — despite a call from the parliament that troops leave.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi told the nation’s parliament Sunday the Iraqi government must establish a timetable for the exit of all foreign troops "for the sake of our national sovereignty."
Pressed on reported skepticism about the intelligence collected that indicated the nation was at “imminent risk” from Soleimani, Pompeo said senior leaders were united.
“Senior leaders who had access to all the intelligence, there was no skepticism,” he said, referring to what he said was a remark by Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking officer in the military.
“General Milley used the term we would have been ‘culpably negligent’ had we not taken this strike,” he said. “We … reduced risk, President [Donald] Trump is committed to protect American lives.”
In a separate interview on NBC News' "Meet The Press," Pompeo was pressed on Iran's expected retaliation on American citizens. "It may be that there's a little noise here in the interim," he answered.
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