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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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Fox & Friends floats impeachment conspiracy theory about GAO findings of Trump crimes against Ukraine

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"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.

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GOP senators are questioning allegiance to Trump as impeachment becomes a reality: Morning Joe panel

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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."

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Iran’s supreme leader says Trump is a ‘clown’ who will betray Iranians

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Iran’s supreme leader said President Donald Trump is a “clown” who only pretends to support the Iranian people but will “push a poisonous dagger” into their backs, as he struck a defiant tone in his first Friday sermon in Tehran in eight years.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the mass funerals for Iran’s top general, who was killed in a US airstrike earlier this month, show that the Iranian people support the Islamic Republic despite its recent trials. He said the “cowardly” killing of Soleimani had taken out the most effective commander in the battle against the Islamic State group.

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