Pompeo admits having no specific intelligence on 'imminent' Iranian attack

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The secretary of state told Fox News Iranian Gen. Soleimani was plotting attacks, but the United States didn't know 'when' or 'precisely where.'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised yet more doubts about the Trump administration's justification for the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, suggesting the intelligence about an "imminent attack" from Soleimani was thin.

"There is no doubt that there were a series of imminent attacks that were being plotted by Qasem Soleimani. We don't know precisely when and we don't know precisely where, but it was real," Pompeo said in an interview with  Fox News host Laura Ingraham that aired Thursday night.

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Pompeo's comments contradict those of Donald Trump who claimed that Soleimani was going to "blow up" the U.S. embassy in Iraq.

"They were looking to blow up our embassy," Trump said Thursday at an event meant for him to announce rollbacks of environmental protections.

At the same event, Trump said the protests in Iraq that led to the storming of the U.S. embassy there "was a totally organized plot" by Soleimani and Soleimani had "more than that particular embassy in mind."

Pompeo didn't go that far, admitting that the United States didn't know where Soleimani's so-called "imminent" attack was going to take palce.

Pompeo's admission came after Trump administration officials refused in a series of briefings to tell lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the specific intelligence on the threat that justified Soleimani's murder.

Lawmakers have been up in arms about the briefing, calling it "insulting" and "utterly unconvincing."

However Pompeo, who was one of the officials who briefed lawmakers, defended the briefing.

"I was there, I was one of the briefers, I thought we did a dynamite job," Pompeo said. "I mean that in the truest sense. We did our level best to present them with all the facts we could in that setting, in a closed setting, more than we can frankly say on your show today."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.