(CNSNews.com) – The Trump administration’s briefing on Iran was “the greatest presentation they’ve ever had,” President Donald Trump said “numerous” senators and congressmen told him.
Speaking to reporters at the White House following an event to announce steps the administration is taking to reverse burdensome regulations, Trump was asked about Sen. Mike Lee’s comments that the military briefing on Iran was “insulting.”
“Here's what happened on that. I had calls from numerous senators and numerous congressmen and women saying it was the greatest presentation they've ever had. Mike and Rand Paul disagreed because they want information that, honestly, I think is very hard to get,” the president said.
“It's okay if the military wants to give it, but they didn't want to give it, and it really had to do with sources and information that we had that really should remain at a very high level. Could we individually maybe give one or two of them some information? Possibly, if we can do it,” Trump said.
“I get along with Mike Lee. I've never seen them like that, but other people have called and they’ve said it was the best presentation of ever seen. Let me tell you what was the best -- forget about presentation. The result. We killed a man who killed many, many Americans and many, many people, thousands and thousands of people,” he said.
“When I go over to Walter Reed, and I meet these young incredible folks, mostly -- it seems mostly men, but also women -- where their legs are gone, their arms are gone. In some cases, both the legs and the arms are gone, and the face and the body is badly damaged,” the president said.
Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani should have been taken out “a long time ago,” Trump said. “We did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy. Somebody died. One of our military people died. People were badly wounded just a week before, and we did it, and we had a shot at him, and I took it. That shot was pinpoint accurate, and that was the end of the monster.
“Really, that was the second attack. We didn't start it. They started it by killing one of our people and wounding badly other of our people. So that, you call retribution,” he said.
When asked whether he would seek congressional authorization for further military action against Iran, Trump said, “It would all depend on the circumstance. I don't have to, and you shouldn’t have to. You have to make split-second decisions sometime. Sometimes you have to move very, very quickly …. but in certain cases, I wouldn’t even mind doing it, but you know what bothers me?” Trump said.
“When I see a Nancy Pelosi trying to defend this monster from Iran who’s killed so many people, who so badly -- so many people are walking around out without legs or arms, because he was the big roadside bomb guy. He was the one who’d send them to Afghanistan. He'd send them to Iraq. He was big. That was his favorite thing. He thought it was wonderful,” the president added.
The $150 billion, $1.8 billion in cash given to Iran in the nuclear deal was used to finance terror, Trump said. The deal is close to expiring anyway even if he didn’t terminate it, the president said.
“The Iran deal, it was just something that is no good for our country. It expires in a short time. That means they would be on their path to nuclear weapons. For me it's about nuclear weapons more than anything else. Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon. Iran will never have a nuclear weapon. They understand that. We have told them very strongly,” he said.
“Iran now is not wealthy like it was when President Obama handed them $150 billion. They’re a much different country. We will see whether or not they want to negotiate. Maybe they want to wait until after the election and negotiate with a weak Democrat, somebody like a Biden or a Pocahontas or Buttigieg or one of these characters,” Trump added.
“Maybe they want to wait, but I think they're well off doing it now, because if you look at the polls and you look at what's going on, we are doing very well. They're losing a tremendous amount. They are getting hurt very badly by the sanctions, … but as to whether or not they want, that's up to them, not up to me. It's totally up to them. They can straighten out their country. Iran right now is a mess. They can straighten out the economics of their country very, very quickly,” the president said.
As for increasing sanctions against Iran, Trump said they’ve been implemented “immediately.”
“It's already been done. We've increased them. They were very severe, but it was increased substantially. I just approved it a little while ago with Treasury,” he said, adding that there will still be an announcement forthcoming on the sanctions.