After asserting for weeks that he ordered the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani because of the “imminent threat” he posed to U.S. personnel around the world — especially American embassies — President Donald Trump is now singing a much different tune, telling donors at a fundraising dinner held at Mar-a-Lago that he had Soleimani killed by a drone strike because the general was “saying bad things” about the United States.
The Washington Post obtained a recording of Trump’s remarks to donors. He told them:
“He was saying bad things about our country, like we’re going to attack, we’re going to kill your people. I said, ‘Listen, how much of this shit do we have to listen to, right?’”
Trump also spelled out what allegedly transpired as he watched the strike from the Situation Room of the White House, with a military officer on the other end of the line providing narration of what was taking place:
“‘They’re in the car, they’re in an armored vehicle. ‘Sir, they have approximately one minute to live, sir … 30 seconds … 10, nine, eight …’ Then, all of a sudden, boom! ‘They’re gone, sir.’ I said, ‘Where is this guy?’ [laughter] That was the last I heard from him.”
However, given Trump’s propensity for exaggeration and lying, the entire recitation by the president could well be nothing more than a fantasy he created for his own amusement and to make himself appear tough to his supporters.
Later in the remarks he made to donors, Trump whined that environmentalists have complained about the impact of a border wall on animals in the areas where the wall is supposed to be constructed, specifically referencing the nesting of turtles and rattlesnakes:
“As far as I’m concerned, you can kill those rattlesnakes. I’ll give you a little secret. As many as we kill, they’ll be here long after us. The rattlesnake. You can kill every son of a bitchin’ rattlesnake.”
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