On Sunday, Rep. Justin Amash stated that Donald Trump’s claims that Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was plotting some type of attack that threatened the lives of Americans “seems to be totally made up.”
“The administration didn’t present evidence to Congress regarding even one embassy,” Amash wrote in a tweet.
“And they have never presented evidence of imminence – a necessary condition to act without congressional approval – with respect to any of this,” Amash then added.
Trump and senior members of his administration have repeatedly stated that they had intelligence information that Soleimani posed an imminent threat to American lives. No one within the administration has been willing to offer any type of proof or details. Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly requested documentation about the drone strike from the White House.
On Friday, Trump appeared on Fox News where he once again claimed that he believed four embassies, including the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, were being targeted by General Qassem Soleimani.
The administration didn’t present evidence to Congress regarding even one embassy. The four embassies claim seems to be totally made up. And they have never presented evidence of imminence—a necessary condition to act without congressional approval—with respect to any of this. https://t.co/Eg0vaCnqFd
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 12, 2020
Amash is not alone in his thoughts on the situation. While appearing on “Face the Nation” Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated that he had not seen any “specific evidence” that supported Trump’s claim that Iran had any plan to attack any embassies. Esper stated that Trump’s position was that “there probably and could’ve been attacks against additional embassies.”
“I shared that view. I know other members of the national security team shared that view. That’s why I deployed thousands of American paratroopers to the Middle East to reinforce our embassy in Baghdad and other sites throughout the region,” Esper stated before adding that Trump did not cite a “specific piece of evidence.”
Esper then added that administration officials “do not expect any further attacks.”
Sens. Tim Kaine and Mike Lee both stated on Sunday that they never received information regarding alleged threats on four U.S. embassies during an intelligence briefing that was held last week.
“I was at the classified briefing because I’m both an Armed Services and Foreign Relations member, that wasn’t told to us in the classified briefing, nor was there a suggestion that multiple embassies were threatened,” Kaine stated.
Lee called the briefing “insulting,” and added that it was the worst briefing that he had ever attended in his 9 years in Washington.