“We will tell you that probably it was going to be the embassy in Baghdad,” Trump told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “I can reveal that I believe it probably would’ve been four embassies.”
Trump’s comments came hours after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also told reporters that the killing was in response to an “imminent threat.” However, Pompeo did not specify what the threat was.
“I don’t know exactly which minute. We don’t know exactly which day it would have been executed, but it was very clear,” Pompeo said.
“Qassem Soleimani himself was plotting a broad, large scale attack against American interests. And those attacks were imminent.”
While several members of the Trump administration have said there was a threat from Iran, they have not offered evidence. Members of Congress said officials did not provide sufficient detail or justification in briefings this week.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the killing of Soleimani “provocative and disproportionate.”
Pompeo made the comments while announcing new economic sanctions against Iran while citing the country’s “terrorist activities.”
In a statement on the sanctions, Trump referenced Iran’s nuclear program and use of proxy forces throughout the region.
He noted that the Iranians have threatened U.S. service members, diplomats and civilians — an apparent reference to his administration’s justification for killing Soleimani.
Sanctions were the latest in a series of events that have further strained U.S.-Iran relations.
— With files from The Associated Press