President Donald Trump accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats of defending Qasem Soleimani on Thursday.
“You know what bothers me?” Trump asked. “When I see Nancy Pelosi trying to defend this monster.”
The president commented at the White House after announcing reforms to the government’s environmental review rules for construction projects.
“When Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats want to defend him, I think that’s a very bad thing for this country,” Trump said. “I think that’s a big losing argument politically, too.”
Trump repeated that Soleimani was a “monster” and a terrorist who had already killed thousands of Americans and people around the world.
“He was the big roadside bomb guy. … That was his favorite thing,” he said, referring to Soleimani. “He thought it was wonderful. He doesn’t think it’s wonderful anymore.”
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill immediately protested the description of the speaker’s position after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy made a similar accusation.
“Incumbent on reporters to make clear this is trash,” he wrote on Twitter, noting that on Thursday, Pelosi called Soleimani a “terrible person” who “did bad things.”
“[I]t’s not about how bad they are,” she added. “It’s about how good we are”:
Incumbent on reporters to make clear this is trash.@SpeakerPelosi earlier today: "He was a terrible person. Did bad things. But it’s not about how bad they are. It’s about how good we are." https://t.co/l3fOiyP3ee
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) January 9, 2020
In her first reaction to Trump’s airstrike, Pelosi made no mention of Soleimani’s horrific record.
“The Administration has conducted tonight’s strikes in Iraq targeting high-level Iranian military officials and killing Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani without an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iran,” she wrote on January 2 immediately after the airstrike. “Further, this action was taken without the consultation of the Congress.”