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Trump calls Iranian general’s death ‘American justice’

The president made the comments at an election rally in Toledo, Ohio.

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By Aamer Madhani, AP

President Donald Trump used his first campaign election rally of 2020 to argue that he served up “American justice” by ordering a drone strike on Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

Mr Trump’s remarks during the rally in Toledo, Ohio also ranged from mockery of Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff to a suggestion that he should have won the Nobel Prize.

The president made his comments shortly after the Democratic-controlled House approved a resolution asserting that Mr Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran.

Mr Trump mocked Ms Pelosi’s mental acuity and called Mr Schiff a “pencil neck”. He also dubbed senator Bernie Sanders “crazy Bernie” for raising objections to how he carried out the strike on Gen Soleimani.

“We got a call. We heard where he was. We knew the way he was getting there,” Mr Trump told cheering supporters. “We didn’t have time to call up Nancy, who isn’t operating with a full deck.”

“They want us to tell them so they can leak it to their friends in the corrupt media,” he added

The Iran crisis, which momentarily overshadowed his looming impeachment trial, has also opened a new front in the 2020 presidential campaign for Mr Trump, who in 2016 campaigned on a promise to end American involvement in “endless wars”.

Vice President Mike Pence, who joined the president for the rally, said Mr Trump deserved credit for taking out a “dangerous terrorist” while managing to keep the engagement from escalating into an all-out war.

“And when American lives were threatened by the most dangerous terrorist in the world, President Donald Trump took action and Qassem Soleimani is gone,” Mr Pence said.

“And in the wake of that attack, Iran responded, but thanks to the professionalism of the military, we suffered no American casualties and Iran appears to be standing down. That’s what leadership looks like.”

Mr Trump also turned to a topic that frequently rankles him – the fact that he has not won a Nobel Prize. Referencing the 2019 Nobel Prize winner, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Mr Trump said that he himself deserved the honour instead.

“I made a deal. I saved a country, and I just heard that the head of that country is now getting the Nobel Peace Prize for saving the country,” he said.

“I said, ‘What?’ Did I have something to do with it? Yeah. But, you know, that’s the way it is. As long as we know, it’s all that matters.”

Mr Abiy was awarded the prize in October for his sweeping reforms and surprising embrace of a bitter rival.

PA

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