During an appearance on CBS’ Meet The Nation, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he “didn’t see” specific evidence that top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was planning attacks on four U.S. embassies, but added that he ‘believed’ such attack would have occurred.
“The president didn’t cite a specific piece of evidence. What he said was he believed,” said Esper.
“I didn’t see one, with regard to four embassies. What I’m saying is that I shared the president’s view that probably — my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies. The embassy is the most prominent display of American presence in a country.”
Mark Esper on CBS: I didn't see the intelligence about Iran posing an imminent threat to 4 US embassies, but I believe President Trump when he says there was one pic.twitter.com/pAaMVXGAde
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 12, 2020
But later in the broadcast, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff says there was nothing shown to him in ‘Gang of 8’ intelligence briefings that showed any specific evidence regarding attacks on 4 U.S. embassies.
Trump said on Fox that the intelligence showed Iran plotting against four of our embassies.
As a member of the Gang of 8, that was news to me.
Now, Esper says this was not intelligence, only Trump’s personal belief.
That’s no basis to take us to the brink of war. pic.twitter.com/G2VRkoW9QE
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 12, 2020
He. Just. Made. It. Up. https://t.co/H0pY55SWoe
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) January 11, 2020