Speaking at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi, Gen. James Jones said, “What the administration did in the Soleimani case is absolutely correct.”
The Washington Examiner reports that Jones said, “This was a powerful step. We’ll see where it goes,” he continued. “It’s a complicated region, but I think history will say that this was the right thing to do.”
Jones was President Obama’s national security adviser from 2009-2010 and also spoke to CNBC about the killing over the weekend, calling it a “potential game changer.”
“It’s clear that the regime in Iran has had a very bad couple of weeks,” Jones said. “And one of the things that people don’t talk about too much is the degree of unrest that there is in the country, which I think is significant.”
He continued, “So, you take the removal of Soleimani, you take the accidental downing of the civilian aircraft coupled with the amount of popular unrest — the needle toward possible collapse of a regime has to be something that people think about. It’s probably not politically correct to talk about it, but you have to think about it.”Jones is hardly the first Obama Administration official to side with President Trump. Earlier this month, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson claimed the president had “ample” authority to kill the Iranian terrorist.
“If you believe everything that our government is saying about General Soleimani, he was a lawful military objective and the President under his constitutional authority as Commander in Chief had ample domestic legal authority to take him out without an additional Congressional authorization,” said Johnson. “Whether he was a terrorist or a general in a military force that was engaged in attacks against our people, he was a lawful military objective.”
Many Democrats, however, disagree with Johnson, and claim the president needed congressional authority to carry out the airstrike.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted, “The question is this — as reports suggest, did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also questioned the legality of the killing of Soleimani and said, “the President does not have the authority for a war with Iran.”
“Squad” member, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) called President Trump “lawless” for taking action against the Iranian terrorist and said Congress “must reclaim” its responsibility to stop war with Iran.Soleimani was killed last week in an airstrike at Baghdad Airport which was ordered by President Trump. He was a U.S.-designated terrorist and led the Quds Force for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which supported terrorist proxies in the Middle East and was responsible for the deaths of at least 608 U.S. troops in Iraq.
The Department of Defense said Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Soleimani was planning “imminent” attacks which would have put “dozens” or “hundreds” of American lives at risk.