Speed Reads


Democratic congressman calls briefing on Soleimani strike 'sophomoric and utterly unconvincing'

Democrats emerged from a briefing on President Trump's decision to authorize a drone strike killing Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani unconvinced it was justified, while Republicans came away more convinced than ever that it was.

After a briefing in the House of Representatives on Wednesday about the strike against Soleimani, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week was to disrupt an "imminent attack" that the administration has not provided details about publicly, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, told reporters he's still unpersuaded.

"My reaction to this briefing was it was sophomoric and utterly unconvincing," he said, CNN reports. "I was utterly unpersuaded about any evidence about the imminence of a threat that was new or compelling."

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) agreed, tweeting that he's "still waiting to hear any credible, actionable intelligence indicating that killing Soleimani was necessary to protect Americans."

Republicans came away with a very different conclusion, though. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said the briefing was "compelling and decisive" and it left "little doubt" that Trump's decision was correct and that there was a "clear and present danger," reports PBS' Yamiche Alcindor. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) also told Fox News he's now "convinced even more than ever" that Trump made the right call.

During the briefing, the administration reportedly provided a "general timeframe of when Soleimani's attacks against US interests in Iraq and in region had been planned," reports CNN's Manu Raju. Trump in an address on Wednesday did not provide further details, only saying that Soleimani was "planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him." Brendan Morrow