During an interview on Fox News Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed the Iraqi people want a U.S. presence in their country even as the Iraqi parliament convened a special session and voted to expel American troops over the U.S. killing of Iranian military commander Qasim Soleimani.
“We’re confident the Iraqi people want the United States to continue to be there,” Pompeo said.
Minutes later, the Iraqi parliament voted unanimously to expel the U.S. military from the country, Political Dig reports.
The resolution demanded an end to foreign military presence in the country, with the aim of forcing the U.S. to withdraw 5,000 troops.
The measure also calls for ending an agreement that allowed the U.S. to send troops to Iraq to help fight the Islamic State and demands the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops for the country.
Pompeo also argued that the intelligence cited by President Donald Trump to justify the killing of the Iranian military leader cannot be shared with the American people.
Asked by Fox’s Chris Wallace about unspecified intelligence both he and President Trump have cited that allegedly showed an imminent attack that the killing of Soleimani was intended to prevent, noting that congressional leadership and sources within intelligence agencies have pushed back against the assertion.
“Don’t the American people have the right to some understanding of what it was, why it was so urgent to take out Soleimani now?” Wallace asked.
Pompeo claimed that “any reasonable person” who saw the intelligence in question would agree with the decision, and added: “we’ll do everything we can to share this information with the American people but I think the American people understand too there’s things you just can’t put out in public.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined FOX News Sunday to discuss breaking news regarding heightened US-Iran tensions in the wake of an attack that killed Soleimani. The Trump administration says he was planning imminent attacks. Secretary Pompeo reacts. #FNS #foxnews pic.twitter.com/zo7nkdtrZ1
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) January 5, 2020