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Tipsheet

Vice President Pence Explains the Trump Admin's Process for Dealing With Iran

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday night had his first interview following the killing of Qasem Soleimani. He sat down with CBS News' Norah O'Donnell to discuss what took place.

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"Iran's supreme leader called the attack a slap in the face but are you worried a punch in the gut may be around the corner?" O'Donnell asked.

Pence said the American people can rest easier because of President Trump's leadership and the military's professionalism. As a result of the military's professionalism and preparedness, there were no American or Iraqi casualties in the Iranian attacks on the al-Asad airbase. 

O'Donnell followed up by asking Pence how concerned the administration is about Iran launching a "covert war."

"Well, we're dealing with a country that's been the leading state-sponsor of terrorism for more than 20 years," Pence explained. "And so we'll continue to be prepared, continue to confront Iran in the way that President Trump has since the beginning of this administration."

The CBS host asked what the administration's strategy is and if the goal is for Iran to have a regime change. 

"We don't seek regime change in Iran but we want to see the regime change its behavior," he replied.

According to the vice president, intelligence revealed that threats were going to take place sometime over the last few days.

"The fact that no American lives were lost was a great relief, I know to the president and to myself, to our entire national security team as it is to every American," Pence said. "We moved forces, we provided the level of force protection at the president's direction, and, in a very real sense, we had the early warning systems that allowed us to move Americans and our allies out of harm's way."

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"I believe we are safer today than we were before President Trump ordered our military to take out Oasem Soleimani," he explained. "This is a man who had been leading a terrorist state-sponsored organization in the region, sewing violence."

The vice president said President Trump made it very clear he's willing to use the United States military to protect American lives.

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