Defense Secretary Says He "Didn't See" Evidence of 4 Embassies Threat - Rolling Stone
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Defense Secretary Says He ‘Didn’t See’ Evidence of Trump’s Claim of Four Embassies Under Threat from Iran

“I didn’t see one with regard to four embassies,” Mark Esper said

Defense Secretary Mark Esper

Defense Secretary Mark Esper

Screenshot/CBS News

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, “I didn’t see one with regard to four embassies,” when asked if there was specific evidence that showed Iran planned to attack four American embassies, as President Trump has claimed.

Esper made the comment on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday. On Friday, Trump spoke to Fox News and used the claim of four US embassies being in peril as a motivating factor that led to the drone strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

Esper added, “I share the president’s view that probably — my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies. The embassies are the most prominent display of American presence in a country.”

On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration did not have precise information about the Iranian threat. “We don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where but it was real,” he said.

Also on Sunday, Esper chose the path of avoidance when posed the same question by CNN’s Jake Tapper, saying, “I’m not going to discuss intelligence matters here on the show.”

Tapper then said, “The President did, though.”

To which Esper replied, “It’s the President’s prerogative.”

More than a week after the strike on Soleimani, the Trump administration is still finding it hard to express a clear and coherent message on the topic. So far none of the lawmakers who received a classified briefing on the strike have reported hearing anything about threats to U.S. embassies.

On Friday, Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told the Washington Post “I feel like I would have remembered if they would have presented that kind of intel at the briefing. It sounds to me like the administration is panicking a little bit about the soundness of their rationale and deciding to share information with Fox News that they aren’t willing to share with Congress.”

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