White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said on Monday that the debate about whether President Trump should have authorized the airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani is about "semantics."
“The fact of the matter is, again, the president took decisive action and ordered a targeted strike that took out one of the most horrible terrorists in the world and who was planning to kill a lot of Americans,” Grisham told host Harris Faulkner on “Outnumbered Overtime.”
Pelosi and other Democrats have been critical of Trump’s decision to conduct an airstrike in Iraq that killed Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force, claiming he did not properly notify Congress in advance and warning about the risk of escalation of violence in the region.
Grisham said that Trump’s National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien confirmed that the president was correct that there was intelligence to suggest that four embassies in four different countries were in imminent danger. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, however, said Sunday that he did not see hard evidence of an imminent threat.
“I think we're arguing semantics. There is a terrorist is who is dead and now the Iranian people are now rising up against their leadership. That’s fantastic,” Grisham said, highlighting a tweet from Trump Monday in which he asserted that his administration in agreement about the strike.
"The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was “imminent” or not, & was my team in agreement. The answer to both is a strong YES., but it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past!" he tweeted.
Trump supported anti-government protests erupting at Iranian universities across the country over the weekend. The protests started Saturday following Iran's claim that it unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane with surface-to-air missiles, killing all 176 people who were on board.
Crowds of students chanted for the Revolutionary Guards to “let go of the country!” and also mentioned the deceased Soleimani, saying that he “was a murderer" and "his leader is, too!”
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Nick Givas contributed to this report.