President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Tuesday that although he likes to obey the law, Iran will face consequences if it retaliates against the U.S. for the killing of commander Qasem Soleimani.
When asked to clarify his threat to target Iranian cultural sites, Trump responded that “they’re allowed to kill our people, they’re allowed to maim our people, they’re allowed to blow up everything that we have” and that “there’s nothing that stops them.”
Trump then said that he liked to “obey the law” when it comes to “various laws” that say we are “supposed to be very careful with their cultural heritage.”
“And you know what, if that’s what the law is, I —I like to obey the law,” Trump said. “But think of it — they kill our people. They blow up our people, then we have to be gentle with their cultural institutions. But I’m okay with it. It’s okay with me.”
Trump’s comments did little to provide clarity on whether the President would authorize attacks on Iranian cultural sites, which could be considered a war crime.
Trump added that Iran will suffer the consequences if it “does anything they shouldn’t be doing.”
“I will say this — if Iran does anything that they shouldn’t be doing, they’re going to be suffering the consequences and very strongly,” Trump said.
On Sunday, the President doubled down on his threat to destroy Iran’s culturally significant sites by arguing that his tweets are official notice to Congress on attacks against Iran.
Watch Trump’s remarks below:
Trump: "I like to obey the law, but think of it — they kill our people." pic.twitter.com/6W1Bnmsvpu
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 7, 2020