“If this is the case, then nothing matters.”
After NBC News reported that President Donald Trump approved the assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Suleimani last June—undercutting administration claims that Soleimani was targeted for a drone strike because of an immediate threat—the president claimed his rationale for unilaterally killing a foreign leader was irrelevant if he deemed the assassination necessary.
Trump concluded several tweets about his impeachment, the 2020 presidential campaign, and other topics by reiterating his administration’s claim that Suleimani posed an “imminent” threat to the U.S., but added that “it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past.”
The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was “imminent” or not, & was my team in agreement. The answer to both is a strong YES., but it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2020
In one tweet, Trump is blowing apart his administration’s rationale for killing Suleimani,” tweeted Washington Post national intelligence reporter Shane Harris.
Administration officials have spent more than a week making various claims about the danger Soleimani posed, including that he was plotting to bomb U.S. embassies—a claim with Defense Secretary Mark Esper wouldn’t confirm on record Sunday. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo openly mocked reports from Iraq’s prime minister that Suleimani was in Baghdad at the time of his killing to discuss easing tensions with Saudi Arabia.
But a White House briefing last week in which officials shared intelligence about so-called “imminent” threats posed by Suleimani was condemned as “insulting” and “utterly unconvincing” by members of Trump’s own party.
On social media, some observers wrote that Trump’s phrasing of his tweet on Monday could be applied to many of his decisions and his treatment of the truth.
“It doesn’t really matter,” tweeted MSNBC political analyst Richard Stengel. “He’s not saying that just about Soleimani, but about the truth. Those who lie for Trump are then undercut by him.”
“If this is the case, then nothing matters,” added anti-Trump activist Andrew Wortman. “He can assassinate anyone anywhere and bring us to the brink of war for no reason and face no accountability.”
Trump says “It doesn’t really matter” if Soleimani posed an imminent threat. If this is the case, then nothing matters. He can assassinate anyone anywhere and bring us to the brink of war for no reason and face no accountability. https://t.co/DoDAqMoOCv
— Andrew Wortman (@AmoneyResists) January 13, 2020
All that lying about the justification for killing Soleimani and then trump just tweets out the confirmation that they were all lying but it doesn’t matter because when you govern under the doctrine of nothing matters then nothing matters. pic.twitter.com/589AQiJ7hb
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) January 14, 2020
This should be world shaking news.
In Trumplandia, it barely merits a glance.
A Narrative Collapses as Trump Tweets: ‘It Doesn’t Really Matter’ https://t.co/xO3KtEe9cD
— Annie Gabston-Howell- (@AnnieGabstonH) January 14, 2020
The unraveling of the White House narrative about Suleimani’s assassination was reminiscent of Trump’s treatment of the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. After spending weeks assuring the public that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had nothing to do with the killing, the president finally told reporters, “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t… In any case, our relationship is with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
A recent USA Today/Ipsos poll found that 52% of respondents view the killing of Suleimani as “reckless.”
Rick Santorum flattened by CNN’s Berman after calling Parnas bombshell revelations ‘extraneous’ to impeachment
Rick Santorum and CNN's John Berman got into a frantic back-and-forth on Friday morning after the former Republican senator attempted to dismiss the revelations by former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas as something that should not be submitted as evidence in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
Discussing the Senate trial expected to start next week, Santorum said the only testimony and witnesses that should be allowed are ones that came up in the earlier House hearings.
"The House's responsibility to bring to us a case," Santorum stated. "They're the one who is said these are offenses that are worthy of the president being removed from office; here is the record, here are the charges. The Senate didn't impeach, the House did, so we are going to look at the record the House presented us. We're going to look at the witnesses and say are there are questions that we have for the people that brought this case forward and relied on these witnesses and look at their testimony."
Fox & Friends floats impeachment conspiracy theory about GAO findings of Trump crimes against Ukraine
"Fox & Friends" assured viewers they could ignore a federal watchdog agency's findings that President Donald Trump broke the law by withholding Ukraine aid.
The nonpartisan the Government Accountability Office found the White House Office of Management and Budget violated the law by freezing $400 million in congressionally approved military aid, but the Fox News hosts suggested the agency was only trying to hurt the president.
"Do you think it's just a coincidence that that news would drop exactly the same day the (impeachment) trial started?" said co-host Steve Doocy.
Co-hosts Pete Hegseth and Ainsley Earhardt agreed, and accepted administration denials at face value.
GOP senators are questioning allegiance to Trump as impeachment becomes a reality: Morning Joe panel
According to members of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" panel, Donald Trump may see more defections by previously supportive Republican senators now that the impeachment of the president has become a reality and their conduct will be scrutinized by voters back home.
Speaking with columnist David Ignatius, host Joe Scarborough noted that multiple Republican senators -- including several who are retiring -- are going soft on defending the president and may be inclined to allowing multiple witnesses who could damage the president.
"David Ignatius, you know, we've known Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) both of us, for a long time. and as they coming to the end of their careers," Scarborough began. "I would think [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell would be concerned that these gentlemen would vote their conscience and not just blindly follow Donald Trump and would vote to have a fair, open hearing and trial and get this new evidence that's coming in, that's come in since the House impeached."