Democrats are pulling out all of the stops this week to blame President Donald Trump for approving an airstrike to take out Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.
New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, pushed a conspiracy theory that Iran could activate “sleeper cells” in the U.S. government to “avenge” the death of Soleimani.
“Iran has a series of proxy networks that are violent,” Menendez said on MSNBC. “They can have sleeper cells inside the United States. It is possible for sympathizers and supporters of the Quds Force in Iran to attack here.”
“There are endless possibilities,” he said. “Iran does not need to challenge us militarily because we have superior military forces, but, asymmetrically, it can destabilize the region.”
Menendez also complained that the Trump administration didn’t notify Democrats in Congress about the strike against such a major figure as Soleimani.
“The question that has to be answered by the administration when Congress comes back into session is: What brought us to this moment?” Menendez said.
“I have been arguing for some time that the Trump administration needs to devise a strategy as it relates to Iran and what’s our pathway forward. I fear that this administration used tactics but [still] has no strategy in the long term,” he added.
Trump’s team has justified the strike as a necessary defensive measure, citing intelligence reports that Soleimani was in Iraq to plot an attack on Americans, just days after an Iranian-controlled militia stormed the Green Zone compound outside the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
“It was time to take action so that we can disrupt this plot, to deter further aggression from Qassem Soleimani and the Iranian regime,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday. “As well as to attempt to deescalate the situation. The risk of doing nothing was enormous.”
Soleimani — who has killed or orchestrated attacks that killed thousands of Americans — was arguably one of the most dangerous men on the planet.
And he was planning an immediate attack against the interests of the United States.
As such, the Trump administration chose to take him out.