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Esper and Pompeo couldn’t agree during congressional briefing on Iran: congressman

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Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) said that the intelligence briefing showing the justification for the attack on Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Suleimani was ridiculous because President Donald Trump’s own team couldn’t agree on the facts.

In an MSNBC interview with Katy Tur, Moulton said that Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both were on hand to brief members of Congress Wednesday. The problem, Moulton explained, is that Trump has no strategy when it comes to this action, with Iran or what he wants to do in the Middle East.

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“In fact, we just got a briefing from the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State among a few other administration officials,” he described. “They each listed three policy goals that the administration has against Iran. The problem is the three didn’t even line up. They total about five, because these two secretaries, these two cabinet secretaries, literally sitting next to each other in the briefing, couldn’t even agree on what the three prime goals are with regards to Iran. We need a strategy. We need to know what happens next, and the administration hasn’t provided that.”

He noted that the new strategy seems to run in conflict with the president’s campaign promises to get American soldiers out of “endless” wars. Yet, the attack on Iran required him to send even more troops to the region.

Moulton also explained that the intelligence was absurd because there were reports that Suleimani wanted to attack the United States “for years.” Any intelligence saying that he was going to attack the United States soon, was “vague” at best, he said.

“I’ll tell you what, it needs to be declassified,” he went on. “Every American needs to understand exactly what the imminent threat is and what it is not. What my colleague Steve Scalise just said is meaningless. Look, Qasem Suleimani has been plotting against Americans for years now, 15 years, so there’s nothing new there. Of course, he’s a bad guy. But the question is not whether he’s a bad guy or whether he has American blood on his hands. The question is, does this make the problem worse? There’s a calculus that you always have to learn when fighting in the Middle East, which is: ‘do you kill more terrorists than you create?’ We’ve already seen by Iran’s reaction, the outpouring of support where for Qasem Suleimani, a true martyr now, that this will make more attacks in the future.”

Watch his comments below:

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