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Tipsheet

Esper Defends Killing Soleimani: Better Than Having 'Flag-Draped Coffins Come Home'

The media continues to question Trump's decision to take out terrorist Qasem Soleimani, a man responsible for killing hundreds of Americans and actively plotting ways to kill even more. CNN's Jake Tapper grilled Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday over whether or not there was evidence to suggest Soleimani was planning attacks on four U.S. embassies, a belief the president recently said he held after reviewing the intelligence gathered on the terrorist.

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Esper said he was not going to discuss intelligence matters on television, deferring to the president and his prerogative to discuss such matters if he so wished. But Esper did say that he and the national security team shared the president's belief and referenced a "very very senior intelligence community official" who told the defense secretary that the risk of action was greater than the risk of inaction. 

While Tapper continued to ask questions regarding the basis for which the president based his belief, the defense secretary explained to the CNN host why he was so grateful to be having this discussion. 

"And let me say this much, Jake, I’m glad we’re having this discussion today," Esper continued, "because I’d rather be here discussing this topic with you than going up to Dover Air Force Base and standing there while flag-draped coffins come home, and I have to explain to husbands and wives, sons and daughters, why their service members died when I had information to prevent it from happening."

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Remember the media grilling the defense secretary about the intelligence used after every drone strike under President Obama? Me either.

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