President Donald Trump defended his decision to take out Iran Gen. Qasem Soleimani on Monday, in a surprise call to conservative talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh’s show.
Trump argued that both former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama should have eliminated Soleimani a long time ago, calling the Iranian general a “terrorist.”
“This should have been done for the last 15-20 years,” Trump said. “Him in particular. He was their real military leader. He’s a terrorist. He was designated as a terrorist by Obama, and then Obama did nothing about it.”
Trump noted that Soleimani was responsible for providing IEDs and anti-tank bombs to terrorists to help them target American troops in the Middle East.
“Much of that stuff was made in Iran. He should have been taken out a long time ago,” Trump said. “And we had a shot at him and we took him out, and we’re a lot safer now because of it.”
The president reassured Americans that he did the right thing and suggested that Iran would think twice before attacking American targets in the future.
“We’ll see what happens. We’ll see what the response is, if any,” he said. “But you’ve seen what I’ve said our response would be.”
Trump again criticized Obama for his “appeasement” with Iran, giving the government of Iran billions of dollars as part of the nuclear deal.
“I think that the Obama administration was just letting them get away with murder, in the true sense, murder,” he said.
Trump added that Iran got even worse after making the nuclear deal with the United States, recalling when it took ten sailors hostage.
“They humiliated those sailors, and our country,” he said.
The president also mocked the establishment media and Democrats for expressing sympathy with Iran.
“He was a terrorist, you know, they don’t want to call him a terrorist. Now the Democrats are trying to make him sound like he was this wonderful human being,” Trump said and repeated Limbaugh’s criticism that the establishment media was even describing Soleimani as a “poet.”
He pointed to the “totally fake newspapers” like the New York Times and the Washington Post for writing about Soleimani in sympathetic terms similar to stories describing slain Islamic State terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar.”
“They tried to build him up into a relatively wonderful guy,” Trump said.
The president said that thanks to voices like Limbaugh, the truth was able to get out.
“People are getting it,” Trump said. “They really get it.”