In an interview on NBC’s “Today Show” on Thursday, Pence was asked if the drone strike that killed Soleimani “eradicated” what intelligence officials said was an imminent threat, he responded that the threat of Soleimani’s leadership “is gone.”
“Well, the threat of Soleimani’s leadership is gone. And make no mistake about it, for the last 20 years Qasem Soleimani led the Quds Force, the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard], the terrorist arm of Iran that sowed violence all across the region.”
Watch Pence’s interview below:
Pence added that he hopes Trump’s decision to order the strike on Soleimani has “restored deterrence.”
“The Iranians always knew we had the ability to use military force. But what they know now, thanks to the president’s decisive leadership, is that we have a Commander-in-Chief that has the will to use military force. We hope that has restored deterrence. We hope that Iran’s efforts to stand down will continue.”
Turning to an intelligence briefing about the Iran situation delivered to lawmakers on Wednesday — which Sen. Mike Lee described as “probably the worst briefing” he has received on military issues — Guthrie asked why lawmakers couldn’t receive more information about the threat in a classified setting.
“Well, some of that has to do with what’s called ‘sources and methods,’ Savannah. That if we were to share all of the evidence — and in fact, some of the most compelling evidence that Qasem Soleimani was preparing an imminent attack against American forces and personnel also represents some of the most sensitive information that we have — it could compromise those sources and methods.”
Pence continued to say that he respects Lee, but having seen the evidence “in real-time,” he believes that Trump “made the right decision” to authorize the strike on Soleimani.
Lee voiced his frustration with the briefing, saying top national security officials urged lawmakers to avoid debating a war powers resolution, adding that he felt it was “insulting and demeaning,” as IJR has previously reported.