What influenced President Donald Trump to order the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani last week? Reports from a number of sources have suggested a number of factors played into his decision, not all of them foreign-policy related.
Earlier this week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, herself running to be the Democratic Party’s nominee to replace Trump in the presidential contest in November, suggested that Trump’s decision could have been driven in part as a means to distract Americans from his impending impeachment trial. While no proof of that accusation has so far surfaced, a new report from the Wall Street Journal seems to indicate impeachment politics were at play in the matter in a different way.
Within that reporting, it’s indicated that Trump told associates, after the assassination order was followed through, that the decision to kill Soleimani was made, in at least some small part, in order to appease Republicans he felt were important to keep happy ahead of their voting on his impeachment.
“Mr. Trump, after the strike, told associates he was under pressure to deal with Gen. Soleimani from GOP senators he views as important supporters in his coming impeachment trial in the Senate, associates said.” https://t.co/N0BPUEGhYj
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) January 10, 2020
For many, that’s a worrisome prospect: it means that domestic political matters played a role in Trump’s decision on an issue that really should only be concerned with maintaining the security of the United States or its interests abroad.
Other media have reported that there were additional issues that played into the decision to assassinate Soleimani — including, according to The Week, the worry from Trump himself over appearing weak on the issue of Iran itself.
Most Americans have serious qualms with how Trump has handled the matter altogether since the end of December. A poll from earlier this week found that a majority of respondents felt the strike on Soleimani would make America less safe overall, and 52 percent said that Trump’s decision-making when it comes to Iran has been “reckless.”