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‘Boom’: Trump recounts Qassem Suleimani’s final moments at GOP Mar-a-Lago fundraiser

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Cameras “miles in the sky”, a countdown and then “boom”: US President Donald Trump has recounted the final moments of Iran’s powerful General Qasem Soleimani in an American drone strike.

Trump delivered the account Friday night to Republican Party donors gathered at his Florida residence Mar-a-Lago for a fundraising dinner, US media said.

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CNN on Saturday broadcast an audio recording in which the president gave new details about the January 3 strike at the airport in Baghdad. It killed the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander and members of Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi, a paramilitary force with close ties to Iran.

“He was supposed to be invincible,” Trump said.

Democrats and other critics have questioned the timing of the strike, the month before Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, and the administration’s shifting reasons for launching it.

In the audio released by CNN, Trump did not refer to an “imminent” attack which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said Soleimani was planning. Nor was there a reference to “four embassies” which Trump later alleged were being targeted.

“He was saying bad things about our country. He was saying like, ‘We’re going to attack your country. We’re going to kill your people.’ I said ‘Look, how much of this shit do we have to listen to?’,” Trump told his guests.

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He then described the scene, relaying the words of the military officers giving live updates to him in Washington.

“They said, ‘Sir, and this is from, you know, cameras that are miles in the sky. They are together sir. Sir, they have two minutes and 11 seconds. No bullshit. They have two minutes and 11 seconds to live, sir. They’re in the car. They’re in an armored vehicle going. Sir, they have approximately one minute to live, sir… 30 seconds, 10, nine, eight… then all of sudden boom. They’re gone, sir.'”

Trump acknowledged that the US strike “shook up the world” but said Soleimani “deserved to be hit hard” because he was responsible for killing “thousands of Americans” — a figure which contrasted with one he gave on January 8. At that time, Trump said the Iranian “wounded and murdered thousands of US troops.”

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Iran vowed revenge for the US strike, raising fears of war, and later launched missiles at bases in Iraq housing US troops. None were killed.


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2020 Election

‘Nice deflection, Mr President’: Adam Schiff busts Trump for trying to blame him for his leaky administration

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) took a shot at President Donald Trump on Sunday morning after the president tried to blame him for the leak describing a classified meeting lawmakers had with an intelligence official who warned the bipartisan group that the Kremlin is trying to help the president get re-elected.

As the president prepared to leave the White House for India, he told reporters that Schiff was to blame for the leaked meeting story, with the president insisting he personally had not been briefed on the report explosive report.

Responding to a 'Meet the Press" clip of the president making his accusation, Schiff tweeted back: "Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again."

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George Conway taunts Republican voters for sticking by ‘psycho buffoon’ Trump

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Conservative attorney George Conway launched a mini-tweet storm on Sunday morning just as President Donald Trump was leaving the country for a visit to India, telling Republican voters that they didn't have to settle for him being their candidate in 2016.

Along the way, he described the president as "a psycho and a buffoon."

In the series of tweets, Conway -- the husband of Trump White House adviser Kellyanne Conway -- noted that a more mainstream candidate could have won in 2016, writing, "Some perspective for supporters of @realDonaldTrump: A stable and competent GOP candidate would have won the popular vote in 2016, perhaps even by a few percentage points; a stable and competent GOP president, having inherited such a strong economy and goosed it with massive deficit spending, would have approval ratings of at least 55%."

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Lindsey Graham promises Fox viewers a new investigation into Andrew McCabe despite the Justice Dept clearing him

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Appearing on the Fox Business channel with host Maria Bartiromo, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) promised viewers he fully intends to use his position as the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee to launch his own investigation into former Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Andrew McCabe despite the former law enforcement official already having been cleared by the Justice Department.

Complaining that the controversial Steele dossier was based on " a bunch of bar-talk and hearsay," Graham said he plans to call -- at the very least -- McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey in to be grilled by his committee.

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