Pompeo Quashes FNC’s Chris Wallace Question About Impeachment Weakening Trump: ‘You Should Ask Soleimani’ 

Pompeo and Chris Wallace
Fox News Sunday

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, under questioning by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, quashed the alleged notion that the Democrats’ impeachment efforts have weakened American President Donald Trump across the world.

Referring to whether or not the Democrats’ push to impeach and remove Trump has weakened the American commander-in-chief, Pompeo urged the newscaster, “You should ask” the late Iranian Brig. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who was recently killed by U.S. airstrikes.

As the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), Soleimani was arguably the second-most powerful leader in the leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, after the Shiite-majority country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The Trump administration recently designated the IRGC-QF and other Iranian proxies, including units of the Iraqi government-sanctioned umbrella organization of mainly Shiite militiamen loyal to the Islamic Republic — the Popular Mobilization Forces/Units (PMF/U) — as terrorist organizations.

Late last Thursday or early Friday, depending on the time zone, U.S. drone strikes killed Soleimani near the Baghdad International Airport along with other leaders of Iranian proxies, including some considered terrorists by the United States.

On Sunday, Wallace asked Pompeo (about 9 minutes and 20 seconds into the provided footage of the latest edition of Fox News Sunday):

Some analysts suggest that the impeachment of President Trump has emboldened enemies like Iran and North Korea to think that they can confront him. Do you think that, as misguided as it may be, that some of our enemies think that this president is more vulnerable because of the impeachment effort?

“You should ask Mr. Soleimani,” Pompeo replied, swatting down the notion that the partisan impeachment effort has somehow weakened Trump on the world stage.

Wallace then said, “I understand that. But he was going ahead before you killed him. And the question is, do you think that impeachment is emboldening our enemies?”

“I don’t,” Pompeo concluded. “I think that our adversaries understand that President Trump and our administration will do the right thing to protect American people, every place that we find risk.”

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of the prominent Kataib Hezbollah (KH) or Hezbollah Brigades, a PMF faction designated a terrorist organization by the United States, was among the six fatalities from the U.S. strikes.

Muhandis was the deputy commander of the PMF, legalized by Baghdad as a component of the U.S.-funded and trained Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in November 2016 for assisting the U.S.-led coalition to combat the Sunni Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

Until recently, the U.S.-led coalition and the PMF were fighting ISIS together.

Their relationship appeared to be born out of necessity. Some U.S. officials, including American lawmakers, considered some PMF units to be terrorist groups that included fighters who killed many United States troops after the 2003 invasion.

While the PMF helped the U.S.-led international coalition defeat ISIS in Iraq, you can argue the American troops helped to keep the Sunni terrorist group from killing many Shiite militiamen.

Once ISIS was weakened mainly at the hands of the U.S.-led coalition and their Kurdish allies, some PMF factions, including the Hezbollah Brigades, began to threaten U.S. troops, ordering them to leave Iraq.

Hezbollah Brigade or KH terrorists killed an American contractor and injured other U.S. troops when they attacked a base in Iraq’s Kirkuk region on December 27. Two days later, the U.S. military retaliated, killing about 25 KH terrorists and injuring about 50 others in Iraq and Syria.

The KH PMF faction then called on their supporters in Iraq to attack the nearly $1 trillion U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. After two days, the assault ended with no deaths or injuries. The attack on the U.S. Embassy preceded the U.S. strikes that killed Gen. Soleimani and the KH chief Muhandis.

PMF fighters cooperated with the IRGC-QF under the late Gen. Soleimani’s leadership in Syria.

On Sunday, the Iraqi Parliament, mainly Shiite lawmakers, approved a non-binding resolution urging Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to end Iraq’s invitation to U.S. forces that helped rescue the country after ISIS conquered its territory in 2014.

The U.S.-led coalition has “paused” operations to train the Iraqi Security Forces, which include PMF units, and combat ISIS to focus on protecting the nearly 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq.

President Trump is refusing to leave Iraq quietly.

“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build,” Mr. Trump declared. “We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it.”

Unless the U.S. leaves Iraq on a “very friendly basis,” the American commander -in-chief said, the U.S. “will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever.”

The Democrats’ impeachment effort is currently at an impasse with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refusing to hand over the two articles of impeachment approved mainly along party lines with two Democrats joining all Republicans to vote against them. Without receiving the articles of impeachment, the Republican-led Senate cannot begin the trial to remove or exonerate Trump.


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