President Donald Trump has taunted Iran the morning after he ordered a deadly drone strike on the the Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani. The attack on Iran’s most important commander has provoked fury in the country, and its president has vowed to take revenge. In President Trump’s first public comment about the attack—other than an image of a U.S. flag he posted to Twitter on Thursday night—he wrote: “Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!”
In a followup tweet, Trump said Soleimani had killed Americans “and was plotting to kill many more... but got caught!” He also claimed that “Soleimani was both hated and feared” within Iran. “They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!”
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday morning that the hit was designed to disrupt an “imminent threat,” but refused to offer further details. Appearing on CNN’s New Day, Pompeo said “hundreds” of American lives would have been at risk if the commander wasn’t killed. “We needed to strike to make sure this imminent attack, that he was working actively, was disrupted,” he said.