RNA - On Monday Trump contended Soleimani posed an impending threat to the United States but also said that was not important given his past, after NBC News revealed that had authorized the US military to assassinate General Soleimani seven months ago.
The officials told NBC News that former US National Security Adviser John Bolton had urged Trump to sign off on an operation to kill Soleimani after Iran shot down a US drone that had violated Iranian airspace in June.
The new report further contradicts the Trump administration's publicly stated justification for ordering the US drone strike that killed Soleimani. US officials have claimed that Soleimani was killed because he was planning “imminent attacks” on Americans.
"The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by… Soleimani was 'eminent' or not, & was my team in agreement," Trump tweeted Monday morning, incorrectly spelling imminent.
"The answer to both is a strong YES., but it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past!" he added.
Trump later said the media and Democrats are trying to make “Soleimani into a wonderful guy, only because I did what should have been done for 20 years.”
Trump pushed the US and Iran to the brink of war last week when he ordered a drone strike that assassinated General Soleimani in Baghdad. Iran responded early on Wednesday with a barrage of missile strikes hitting a key airbase hosting American forces in western Iraq.
Trump's national security officials have contradicted each other several times over the reasons for the assassination. The claim that Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” against the US has been met with widespread suspicion and skepticism in the US.
The idea of killing Soleimani also came up in discussions in 2017 that Trump's national security adviser at the time, H.R. McMaster, was having with other senior advisers, officials said.
The plan to assassinate Soleimani was part of Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran and "was not something that was thought of as a first move," said a former senior administration official involved in the discussions.