Speed Reads

The Iran crisis

Trump reportedly admitted impeachment played a big role in his Soleimani decision

President Trump's decision to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani reportedly had some self-serving underpinnings.

The assassination and subsequent conflict with Iran has pushed Trump's looming impeachment trial out of the headlines and gathered him strong support from some GOP senators who've criticized him in the past. And as Trump associates tell The Wall Street Journal, that was precisely his intention.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have questioned just what intelligence went into the decision to kill Soleimani, and especially why it had to happen when it did. The administration has so far only mentioned some sort of "imminent threat" as justification. But "after the strike," Trump gave associates another explanation: "He was under pressure to deal with Gen. Soleimani from GOP senators he views as important supporters in his coming impeachment trial in the Senate," the Journal writes.

Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, gave an explicit answer that also tosses out any suggestion of an imminent threat: "When one American life was lost at the hands of Iranian-backed militias just a few short weeks ago, President Trump launched the first air strikes against Iranian-backed militias in 10 years." Kathryn Krawczyk