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Warren: People are reasonably asking about timing of US strike that killed Iranian commander

Posted January 5, 2020 10:14 a.m. EST

— Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Sunday questioned the timing of the Trump administration's drone strike that killed Iranian commander Qasem Solaimani, adding to mounting skepticism about whether the President's order was justified.

"Look, I think that people are reasonably asking about the timing and why it is that the administration seems to have all kinds of different answers," the Massachusetts Democrat told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." "When the administration doesn't seem to have a coherent answer for taking a step like this, and they have taken a step that moves us closer to war, a step that puts everyone at risk, and step that puts the military at risk and puts the diplomats in the region at risk."

Warren, who told reporters on Saturday in Iowa she would not have ordered the drone strike if she were president, said this was a moment where Trump should not be escalating "tensions and moving us to war."

"The job of the president is to keep us safe, and that means move back from the edge," she said.

President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and top military officials have claimed US forces killed the top Iranian military commander in response to an impending threat to American lives, but the lack of evidence provided to lawmakers and the public has fueled lingering questions.

A Republican congressional source familiar with the administration's decision to strike Soleimani told CNN Saturday that in the past, the President "has been reluctant to take military action," but said in this case, the killing of an American contractor, the wounding of others, and the subsequent embassy protests "crossed his line." The President's advisers also pointed out to him that if he "didn't respond now, they (Iran) will continue to cross it," the source said.

Asked by Tapper Sunday about whether she believes Trump is trying to distract from his impeachment in Congress, Warren responded: "I think it is a reasonable question to ask particularly when the administration immediately after having taken this decision offers a bunch of contradictory explanations for what is going on."

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