Mike Pompeo sounded like the wife of an out of control drunkard trying to clean up hubby’s mess the next day, when he unconvincingly tried to explain that he hadn’t really walked back his statements Tuesday about how “imminent” a threat Qassem Soleimani posed, and oh no, Donald Trump was right in Ohio, when he told the crowd that Soleimani was planning to blow up several embassies, jimmy pronto. Roll Call:
Pompeo told reporters U.S. officials acted on “specific information on an imminent threat,” and that the “threat stream included attacks on U.S. embassies. … Full stop.”
American officials did not know “exactly which minute,” but he claimed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was planning “broad, large-scale attacks” on American targets.
But in an interview with Fox News aired Thursday night, Pompeo said, “There was no doubt that there were a series of imminent attacks that were being plotted by Qassem Soleimani. And we don’t know precisely when and we don”t know precisely where, but it was real.”
When pressed for his definition of the word “imminent,” Pompeo said, “This was going to happen.”
The sun is going to go dark at some point, too. It is going to happen. However, it would be ludicrous to call it “imminent.” Likewise, there is no credible intelligence to support an imminent threat to any embassy, this is just blowing smoke. Even Republican Mike Lee of Utah is bristling at Pompeo and other administration officials demanding that Trump’s ordering an assassination not be called into question, as “insulting,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Lee said that the intelligence briefing on Soleimani was the “worst” he’d ever seen.
Trump believes that he should be allowed to do whatever he wants, unilaterally and unfettered, and if you don’t believe that, just take a listen to his unhinged Thursday rally in Ohio. Trump insulted and delegitimized Democrats, saying Nancy Pelosi, “wasn’t playing with a full deck,” and calling Adam Schiff “you little pencil neck.” He went beyond the norms last night, even for him. Greg Sargent, Washington Post:
Trump has never had any concept of government, separation of powers, nothing. He has gone on record countless times citing Article II of the constitution, “Article II says I can do whatever I want.” Interesting construction of that clause, he’s the first president in history to come up with that interpretation of it. Trump made it clear in Ohio last night that he felt it beneath his contempt to get authorization from Congress for any future hostilities. He should be accorded the power of a king, plain and simple. And he was preaching this to his disciples, his base, so of course they roared with approval.
Every other American president in history has made the gesture of being the president for all the people, given lip service to the concept, at the very least. Not Donald Trump. He struts and talks about “my people” as if they were the only people. He continues to demonstrate not only contempt for the opposition party and their millions of constituents, but contempt for American institutions and government. He is the poster child for the angry American. His cult worshippers love it when he indulges in petty insults and abuse and flaunts his power and threatens to do even worse things in the future. He’s out of control and so are they. We have a real sickness in the land right now. Donald Trump and his followers are the ugly Americans. I’m afraid to think what the eventual kool-aid moment is going to look like.