President Trump’s dissatisfaction with media coverage when he halted an airstrike against Iran last year reportedly influenced his authorization of the strike that killed top Iranian military official Qasem Soleimani Thursday night.
According to a Washington Post report Friday night, after Trump was told at Mar-a-Lago that Soleimani was going to Baghdad — which senior officials viewed as a way to taunt the U.S. — calls between national security principals were set up by Vice President Mike Pence throughout the week after initial plans were made Sunday to kill Soleimani, a senior administration official told the Post.
The Post reported that officials then reminded Trump that he failed to respond after Iranians mined ships, downed a U.S. drone and allegedly attacked a Saudi oil facility last year. The officials argued that the time is ripe to act now to send Iranians a message that they can’t “get by with anything.”
“The argument is, if you don’t ever respond to them, they think they can get by with anything,” one White House official told the Post.
Lawmakers and aides who have spoken to Trump told the Post that the President’s fixation on Benghazi and the Obama administration’s response to it also played a role into his decision.
Read the Washington Post’s report here.