Statements on the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on Jan. 2, 2020:

President Donald J. Trump
Palm Beach, Florida
January 3, 2020

3:13 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Well, thank you very much.  And good afternoon.

As President, my highest and most solemn duty is the defense of our nation and its citizens.

Last night, at my direction, the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the number-one terrorist anywhere in the world, Qasem Soleimani.

Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.

Under my leadership, America’s policy is unambiguous: To terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American, we will find you; we will eliminate you.  We will always protect our diplomats, service members, all Americans, and our allies.

For years, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its ruthless Quds Force — under Soleimani’s leadership — has targeted, injured, and murdered hundreds of American civilians and servicemen.

The recent attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an American and injured four American servicemen very badly, as well as a violent assault on our embassy in Baghdad, were carried out at the direction of Soleimani.

Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London.

Today we remember and honor the victims of Soleimani’s many atrocities, and we take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over.

Soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East for the last 20 years.  What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago.  A lot of lives would have been saved.

Just recently, Soleimani led the brutal repression of protestors in Iran, where more than a thousand innocent civilians were tortured and killed by their own government.

We took action last night to stop a war.  We did not take action to start a war.

I have deep respect for the Iranian people.  They are a remarkable people, with an incredible heritage and unlimited potential.  We do not seek regime change.  However, the Iranian regime’s aggression in the region, including the use of proxy fighters to destabilize its neighbors, must end, and it must end now.

The future belongs to the people of Iran — those who seek peaceful coexistence and cooperation — not the terrorist warlords who plunder their nation to finance bloodshed abroad.

The United States has the best military by far, anywhere in the world.  We have best intelligence in the world.  If Americans anywhere are threatened, we have all of those targets already fully identified, and I am ready and prepared to take whatever action is necessary.  And that, in particular, refers to Iran.

Under my leadership, we have destroyed the ISIS territorial caliphate, and recently, American Special Operations Forces killed the terrorist leader known as al-Baghdadi.  The world is a safer place without these monsters.

America will always pursue the interests of good people, great people, great souls, while seeking peace, harmony, and friendship with all of the nations of the world.

Thank you.  God bless you.  God bless our great military.  And God bless the United States of America.  Thank you very much.  Thank you.


3:18 P.M. EST

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
3, 2020

McConnell Speaks on the Death of Terrorist Leader Qassem Soleimani

‘The architect and chief engineer for the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism has been removed from the battlefield at the hand of the United States military.’

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding world events:

‘This morning, Iran’s master terrorist is dead.

‘The architect and chief engineer for the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism has been removed from the battlefield at the hand of the United States military.

‘No man alive was more directly responsible for the deaths of more American servicemembers than Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Quds Force within Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

‘Soleimani’s schemes and his agents killed hundreds of American servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan. He personally oversaw the state-sponsored terrorism that Iran used to kill our sons and daughters.

‘And as we’ve seen in recent days and weeks, he and his terrorists posed an ongoing and growing threat to American lives and American interests. 

‘Soleimani made it his life’s work to take the Iranian revolutionary call for “death to America” and “death to Israel” and turn them into action.

‘But this terrorist mastermind was not just a threat to the United States and Israel. For more than a decade he masterminded Iran’s malevolent and destabilizing work throughout the entire Middle East. He created, sustained, and directed terrorist proxies everywhere from Yemen to Iraq to Syria to Lebanon.

‘Innocents were killed. These sovereign countries were destabilized.

‘In Syria, this leading terrorist and his agents acted as strategists, enablers, and accomplices to Bashar al-Assad’s brutal repression and slaughter of the Syrian people.

‘In Iraq, his violence expanded Iran’s influence at the expense of Iraqis themselves. His dark, sectarian vision disenfranchised countless Sunni Arabs and paved the way for the rise of ISIS. 

‘And with ISIS largely defeated, Soleimani and his agents again turned their sights on controlling the Iraqi people, who through massive protests are rejecting not only a corrupt government but also Iran’s influence over it. And once again, there were Iran and its proxies, facilitating violence against these peaceful protesters.

‘For too long, this evil man operated without constraint, and countless innocents have suffered for it. Now his terrorist leadership has been ended.

‘Now — predictably enough, in this political environment — the operation that led to Soleimani’s death may prove controversial or divisive.

‘Although I anticipate and welcome a debate about America’s interests and foreign policy in the Middle East, I recommend that all senators wait to review the facts and hear from the administration before passing much public judgment on this operation and its potential consequences.

‘The administration will be briefing staff today on the situation in Iraq. We are working to arrange a classified briefing for all senators early next week.

‘For my part, I have spoken to the Secretary of Defense and I am encouraged by the steps the U.S. military is taking to defend American personnel and interests from a growing Iranian threat.

I know I speak for the entire Senate when I say that my prayers are with all American diplomats, personnel, and brave servicemembers serving in Iraq and the Middle East.

‘I am grateful for their courageous service to protect our nation.

‘Right from the outset of this new year, it is already clear that 2020 will require the Senate and our whole nation to redouble our resolve to keep America safe in this troubled world.’

RNC Research
January 3, 2020

President Trump Strikes Another Blow Against Terrorism  

Described As The “Most Powerful” Terrorist On The Planet, Gen. Qassem Soleimani Was Taken Out By U.S. Forces Just Days After He Orchestrated An Attack On U.S. Embassy
The Facts:


AP: The Pentagon announced Thursday that the U.S. killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, at the direction of President Donald Trump.
Top Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes was killed alongside Gen. Soleimani.
Soleimani was designated as a terrorist by the Obama Administration in 2011, and has been sanctioned many times by the Department of the Treasury.
Foundation for the Defense Of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz: “For two decades, Soleimani has been the most powerful, savvy & effective terrorist on the planet.”
The Washington Examiner’s Senior Political Correspondent David Drucker: It is “not debatable” that Soleimani was reasonable for “years of terrorist escalation.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Just as Israel has the right of self-defense, the United States has exactly the same right. Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the death of American citizens and many other innocent people. He was planning more such attacks.”


His death came in the wake of attacks on the U.S. Embassy orchestrated by Soleimani and carried out by Mohandes’ was Popular Mobilization Forces.
Soleimani was also “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”
Mohandes’ forces wrote that Soleimani is “their commander” on the U.S. embassy compound when they attacked.

CNN National Security Analyst Michael Weiss: Soleimani ran a proxy war that killed “at least” 603 American soldiers in Iraq.
Former FBI agent and MSNBC contributor Clint Watts: “Soleimani led an Iran- US proxy war in Iraq for the last decade."
CNN’s Jim Sciutto: Hundreds of American families watched news of Soleimani’s killing particularly closely, he engineered attacks that “that killed hundreds of US service-members & wounded thousands more.”
Former top US Senate National Security Aide: “God knows Qassem Solemani had a lot of American blood on his hands.”
The Washington Post military reporter Mike Glenn: “Qassim Solemani was directly responsible for the deaths of scores of American military personnel in Iraq.”
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE): "General Soleimani is dead because he was an evil bastard who murdered Americans…the President made the brave and right call, and Americans should be proud of our service members who got the job done.”
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC): President Trump “decisively took action” that saved “American lives.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR): "Tonight, [Soleimani] got what he richly deserved, and all those American soldiers who died by his hand also got what they deserved: justice.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT): Soleimani was a "depraved terrorist" who was "doubtlessly planning operations to further harm our citizens and allies."
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA): President Trump “took incredibly decisive action” to take out Soleimani.
Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL): The President “took decisive & bold action” in taking out Soleimani.
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI): President Trump “absolutely made the right call.”
Behnam Ben Taleblu of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies called Soleimani’s death “significant” and that the IRGC would lose “his name-brand and charisma.”
Seth Frantzman, Executive Director of The Middle East Center For Reporting And Analysis: in the deadly chess game between the U.S. and Iran “U.S. just took a rook and a bishop.”
The Jerusalem Post: “When [Soleimani] Was Killed By A U.S. Strike On Friday He Was At The Height Of His Power.”
Middle-East analyst and CNBC commentator Jake Novak: though the killing of Soleimani may not have the emotional power of the takedown of Osama bin Laden but “in many ways, taking him out means much more in terms of saving current lives.”
Fox News’ Trace Gallagher: “Very big victory for the U.S. Military tonight”

Americans for Limited Government
For Immediate Release                   Contact: Robert Romano
Jan. 3, 2020                                     

President Trump right to act to make world safer from Iranian terror

Jan. 3, 2020, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to the U.S. elimination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq:

"Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was on Iraq soil when he was targeted by U.S. forces, well within the President's congressionally approved power to conduct the war in Iraq and his Article II constitutional authority to protect U.S. forces. Additionally, Solemni had been declared the leader of a terrorist organization carrying out attacks against U.S. interests in Iraq and around the world. The President acted well within the scope of law to authorize this action, and should be receiving universal praise rather than approbation by those too fearful to lead."

To view online:
Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1 or at

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
JANUARY 4, 2020

Pelosi Statement on White House’s War Powers Act Notification of Hostilities Against Iran

San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the White House notified the Congress of the initiation of hostilities against Iran, pursuant to the War Powers Act of 1973, after conducting airstrikes against Iranian high-level military officials near Baghdad International Airport:

“This classified War Powers Act notification delivered to Congress raises more questions than it answers.  This document prompts serious and urgent questions about the timing, manner and justification of the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran.  The highly unusual decision to classify this document in its entirety compounds our many concerns, and suggests that the Congress and the American people are being left in the dark about our national security.
Bennet for America
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, January 3, 2019
CONTACT: Shannon Beckham

Bennet: Trump Is Weakest Foreign Policy President In My Lifetime

BOSTON — Michael Bennet made clear on WGBH’s Morning Edition today that he will be a Commander in Chief who restores alliances and keeps us safe, and a president at home who invests in our country and helps people live a secure middle-class life.

On Iran:

“I think this was a terribly reckless and provocative act. It’s the latest in a long string of non-strategic choices that Donald Trump has made in the Middle East, that has weakened our position in the Middle East, that has strengthened Iran’s position in the Middle East. And I think you couldn’t be more naive to believe that this was going to result somehow in Iran coming to the negotiating table, rather than creating the potential for another war — which is the last thing we need in the Middle East.”

“[O]ur own War College has said in their 2000 page report that the winner of our last Iraq war was Iran. … [W]e can’t do more of this. We spent $5.6 trillion over the last 20 years to fight two wars in the Middle East. That didn’t result in any of the outcomes that the American people were promised.”

“[W]hat you’ve got to do is rebuild our alliances all over the world. … [I]n the Middle East, we have to rebuild the alliances that gave us the Iran nuclear deal, which for once was an attempt to manage a situation in the Middle East, instead of going to a war with it.”

“Donald Trump [is] the weakest foreign policy president we’ve had in my lifetime.”

Biden for President

Statement from Vice President Joe Biden on the Killing of Qassem Soleimani

No American will mourn Qassem Soleimani’s passing. He deserved to be brought to justice for his crimes against American troops and thousands of innocents throughout the region. He supported terror and sowed chaos. None of that negates the fact that this is a hugely escalatory move in an already dangerous region. The Administration’s statement says that its goal is to deter future attacks by Iran, but this action almost certainly will have the opposite effect. President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox, and he owes the American people an explanation of the strategy and plan to keep safe our troops and embassy personnel, our people and our interests, both here at home and abroad, and our partners throughout the region and beyond. I’m not privy to the intelligence and much remains unknown, but Iran will surely respond. We could be on the brink of a major conflict across the Middle East. I hope the Administration has thought through the second- and third-order consequences of the path they have chosen. But I fear this Administration has not demonstrated at any turn the discipline or long-term vision necessary — and the stakes could not be higher.


Pete for America

Mayor Pete Buttigieg Statement on the Killing of Qassim Suleimani

SOUTH BEND, IN —This morning, Mayor Pete Buttigieg released the following statement in response to the killing of Qassim Suleimani:

“The top priority of a Commander-in-Chief must be to protect Americans and our national security interests. There is no question that Qassim Suleimani was a threat to that safety and security, and that he masterminded threats and attacks on Americans and our allies, leading to hundreds of deaths. But there are serious questions about how this decision was made and whether we are prepared for the consequences.
“As a former military intelligence officer on the ground in Afghanistan, I was trained to ask the hard questions before acting. A Commander-in-Chief must do the same.

“Before engaging in military action that could destabilize an entire region, we must take a strategic, deliberate approach that includes consultation with Congress, our allies, and stakeholders in the Middle East. The lawful, constitutional role of Congress in matters of war and peace must be respected. And the American people deserve answers on how we arrived at this point, the national security infrastructure we have in place, and the basis for this decision.
“Now we must deal with the consequences of this action, beginning with the immediate and very real dangers to American citizens in and out of uniform in the Middle East. We must prepare for the impact on regional stability, complex forms of retaliation, and the potential for escalation into war. 
“As we learn more in the coming days and weeks, one thing is clear: this must not be the start of another endless war. We must act wisely and deliberately, not capriciously or through Twitter. The consequences are grave, as anyone who has served in uniform understands all too well.”

Friends of John Delaney
Friday, January 3, 2020
CONTACT: Kandie Stroud

Delaney Statement on Airstrike in Iraq Against Iranian Military Officials

FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS, MD - John Delaney releases the following statement:

"What is important at this moment in time is full coordination between the Administration and Congress to ensure the safety of all Americans in Iraq and throughout the region. That has to be our number one priority. While Soleimani was directly responsible for the deaths of countless lives, including many Americans, and was a significant danger to our troops and a destabilizing force in the region and deserved to be brought to justice for his actions against our troops, the Administration's failure to brief Congressional leadership on this action is troubling and raises the risk of reckless actions that could lead to a dangerous escalation."

Friends of John Delaney
Saturday, January 4, 2020
CONTACT: Kandie Stroud

Delaney: Soleimani Strike Highlights the Need for A Commander in Chief with a Clear Doctrine

FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS, MD – In response to the death of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, former US Congressman and presidential candidate John Delaney warned of repercussions: 

“There are obviously consequences associated with all actions and careful planning is needed. In this case, we must prepare for retaliatory attacks and ensure U.S. citizens are safe. It is clear that the current administration is prone to act first and plan later. I pray they did a better job of preparing for contingencies in this scenario than they did with Syria.” 
Delaney continued, “When Trump recklessly chose to abandon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - which was negotiated by the US & many of our major allies + Russia and China - he took our country into an uncertain place with Iran, which is now where we unfortunately find ourselves. An unintended consequence of this escalation has been to alienate Iraq which should actually be one of our strongest allies in the region if the relationship is professionally managed. We should get back to the table and try to negotiate an improved JCPOA (with a longer term) and restore some stability to the region.”
Delaney had outlined his plan for clear goals in the Middle East during a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Foreign Service in May last year, entitled "The Price of Greatness is Responsibility," also calling for the US to rejoin the Iran Nuclear Agreement but with “tougher terms on Iran.”
The full speech is transcribed and can be viewed here.
Bernie 2020
January 3, 2020

Rushed Transcript of Sanders’ Remarks on Iran 

ANAMOSA, Iowa – Below is a rushed transcript of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ remarks today on Trump’s escalation of tension in the Middle East. The full speech can be seen here.

Thank you all for coming out. 

Today I want to talk about some of the very important issues facing our country, but before I get to some of them I wanted to take a moment to address the events in Iraq and the escalating crisis in the Middle East.

Yesterday President Trump ordered the assassination of a top Iranian general, Qassem Suleimani, in Iraq, along with the leader of an Iraqi militia. This is a dangerous escalation that brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East, which could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars and lead to even more deaths, more conflict, more displacement in that already highly volatile region of the world.

When I voted against the war in Iraq in 2002, I feared that it would result in greater destabilization in that country and in the entire region. At that time I warned about the deadly so-called unintended consequences of a unilateral invasion.

Today, 17 years later, that fear has unfortunately turned out to be a truth. United States has lost some 4500 brave men and women fighting in Iraq, tens of thousands have been wounded, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, and trillions of dollars have been spent on that war.

The result: Today, today, we have massive unrest in that country. We have corruption in that country. We have terrible poverty in that country. And now, Iraqis want American troops out.

All of that suffering, all of that death, all of that huge expenditure of money, for what?
It gives me no pleasure to tell you that at this moment we face a similar crossroads, fraught with danger. Once again we must worry about unintended consequences, and the impact of unilateral decision-making. Let me repeat a warning I gave in 2002, during the debate over the war in Iraq, quote, this is what I said back then: War must be the last recourse in our Int’l Relations, and as a caring nation we must do everything we can to prevent the horrible suffering that a war will cause, end of quote.
As the former chair of the US Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, I have seen close up the pain, the death, and the despair caused by war.
I’ve gone to too many funerals in my own state. I’ve talked to too many mothers who’ve lost their kids in war. I’ve talked to too many soldiers, men and women who’ve come home with PTSD, who have come home without arms and without legs. And I know that it is rarely the children of the billionaire class who face the agony of reckless foreign policy. It is the children of working families.
Let us not forget that when Trump took office, we had a nuclear agreement with Iran, negotiated by the Obama administration along with our closest allies. Countries from all over the world came together to negotiate that agreement, which put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program.
The wise course would have been to stick with that nuclear agreement, enforce it’s provisions, and use that diplomatic channel with Iran to address a wide range of concerns, including their support of terrorism.
Unfortunately, Trump ignored the advice of his own security officials, ignored the advice of his own security officials, and listened to right-wing extremists, some of whom were exactly the same people that got us into the war in Iraq in the first place.
As we all remember, Trump promised to end endless wars. Tragically, his actions now put us on the path to another war. Potentially one that could be even worse than before.
The truth as we all know is that the world today is a very dangerous place. We are seeing a movement all across the planet toward authoritarianism. We are seeing a growing arms race. And we are seeing nuclear weapons in the hands of unstable and hostile regimes.
I believe that in the midst of all of that, the role of the United States – difficult though it may be – must be to work with the international community to end conflicts, to end the threat of war, not to promote war as president Trump is doing. This is how the true power of the United States is shown. And that is how I will use American power as president.
As I think we have seen for several years now, Trump makes decisions impulsively, impulsively without explanation. And in this case as in the past without any congressional consultation. I believe strongly that a key step in ending our endless wars is for Congress to reassert its constitutional authority over matters of war.
Our founding fathers had it right. And they gave the responsibility of war to congress. That is exactly where it must be placed. I find it incredible that at the same time as Trump is greatly expanding military spending – and I am proud to tell you that I have voted against all of Trump’s military budgets – At the same time he is spending tens of billions of dollars more on the military, he is cutting back on the diplomatic capabilities of the State Dept to negotiate agreements around the world. And that to my mind is a very dangerous course of action.
I have consistently opposed this dangerous path to war with Iran. But we need to do more than just stop the potential of a war. We need to firmly commit to ending the US military presence in the Middle East, in an orderly manner, not through a Tweet. And must understand that these wars have cost us so much in blood and in treasure.
We must end our involvement in the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, which is now one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes on earth. And we must bring our troops home from Afghanistan. Instead of provoking more volatility in the region, the United States must use its power, its wealth, and its influence to bring the regional powers to the table to resolve conflicts.
Now let me conclude by simply saying this:
At a time when we have over 500,000 Americans who are homeless today, including 30,000 veterans. At a time when some 87 million of our people are either uninsured or underinsured, and 30,000 die each year because they don’t get to a doctor when they should. At a time when we face the urgent need to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, to build the housing we desperately need, and to address the existential crisis of climate change, we as a nation must get our priorities right.
We must invest in the needs of the American people, not spend trillions more on endless wars.
Thank you.
Bernie 2020
January 4, 2020

TRANSCRIPT: Sanders Calls for Congressional Action to Stop Trump’s Middle East Escalation

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Below is a rushed transcript of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ remarks given today calling on Congress to act immediately to stop President Donald Trump’s dangerous escalation in the Middle East: 

I wanted to say a few words regarding the developing situation in Iraq and Iran. As I said yesterday, I am deeply concerned that President Trump’s actions represent a dangerous escalation that brings us closer to yet another disastrous war in the Middle East—which is exactly what we do not need.

Unfortunately, similar to my concerns that I raised way back in 2002 regarding the war in Iraq, a new war with Iran could cost thousands of lives, trillions more dollars, and lead to even more deaths, more conflict, and more displacement throughout a region that is already in volatile situations.  So let me say a few words about what I see as the next steps that we must take to stop Trump’s reckless actions and his impulsiveness.
When I return to Washington next week along with the U.S. Senate, I believe the first course of action is for the Congress to take immediate steps to restrain President Trump from plunging our nation into yet another endless war. This country needs a whole lot of things, but one thing that we do not need is another war. We’ve got enough of those.
With my colleague Congressman Ro Khanna and others, we will advance legislation to assert Congress’s constitutional authority and responsibility to prohibit any funding for offensive military force in or against Iran without Congressional authorization. I am also proud to support Senator Tim Kaine's War Powers Resolution to force a vote to end unauthorized hostilities against Iran.
As I think all of you know and all Americans know, our Founding Fathers gave the responsibility over war not to the president, but to Congress. That is very clear in the Constitution. And in my view, Congress must, must act in the face of a president who has shown time and again that he cannot be relied upon to tell us the truth or to make well thought out decisions. 
Furthermore, fortunately, as we have seen with the resolution I authored with conservative Republicans to end our involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen—[applause] thank you—I believe that there must be and there will be bipartisan support for Congress to take this step.
For too many years, and here is the simple truth, that nobody in this room or I should be proud of, that for too many years congress under Republican administrations and under Democratic administrations has abdicated its constitutional responsibility. It is time for Congress to take that responsibility back.
If Congress wants to go to war — and I will vote against that — but if Congress wants to go to war, let Congress have the guts to vote for war. Do not let this president take unilateral action.