Transcript for Vice President Mike Pence talks response to Iran
We are joined by the vice president of the United States, Mike pence, vice president pence, thank you for joining us this morning. Good morning, George. We just heard Ian Pannell say pro-iranian militias are looking for revenge and intelligence officials briefing members of congress have warned the U.S. Troops in the region could face more of a threat now from those that threat is very real, isn't it? That threat continues to be in fact, the attack on December 27th, the claim of an American life, injured four American service members was Iranian backed militias in Iraq and, George, we're ready and making it clear we won't tolerate violence, but thanks to the decisive action that president trump took, took qassem soleimani off the battlefield.sent a very clear message that the United States of America will defend our people, will defend our interests and as we stand here today, thanks to the professionalism of our military personnel in the wake of that Iranian missile strike, no American casualties, no coalition casualties and I'm pleased to report that Iran continues to appear to stand down. We all are grateful for no casualties in that attack. As you know there's been some harsh criticism even from some of the president's closest allies on capitol hill about the quality of information provided to congress. Concerning senator Mike Lee he called it the worst briefing he's ever gotten. One of the messages we received from the briefers was, do not debate, do not discuss the issue of the appropriateness of further military intervention against Iran and that if you do you'll be emboldening Iran. I find this insulting and demeaning. That debate is going to happen in congress today. Are members of congress debating the war powers act emboldening Iran and how do you respond to senator Lee? Look, great respect for senator Mike Lee and as well as senator Rand Paul but the truth is both of them have voted against military action that's been taken by this administration in self-defense in Yemen and in the region and we respectfully disagree with them but, look, with regard to the intelligence, I think many members of congress came from the briefing yesterday and recognized that the president took action to take qassem soleimani off the battlefield based on an imminent threat to American forces and American personnel in the region and I believe having seen all the intelligence, George, that the president was right to act. He had a duty to act. But that has left new a bit of a bind, hasn't it? As you know many other members of congress have walked out of the briefings saying they didn't see anything new, didn't see convincingest of an imminent threat. Can you provide more convincing evidence to the public to convince them that there was, indeed, an imminent threat? In the last six months in the wake of president trump's maximum pressure campaign, we've seen a rise of violence all being driven by soleimani. Two of our drones shot down. An American service member killed. We've seen attack against shipping, of course, the Saudi refeinsteinry that was attacked. All of that was driven by soleimani, and our intelligence supported the view that after we struck back at those militia bases in northern Iran or northern Iraq, soleimani was traveling the region, making plans to bring an attack against American personnel and American forces and president trump took action, took him off the battlefield and the intelligence supports that. That's what was reported to members of congress, but obviously, George, as you understand, having worked in this building many years ago, when it comes to intelligence, we have to protect sources and methods and so there's only a certain amount that we can share with every member of congress, but those of us who have seen all the evidence know that there is a compelling case of an imminent threat against American personnel and president trump was right to act to take the world's most dangerous terrorist off the battlefield. Mr. Vice president, thank you for your time this morning. Thank you, George. You know, that vote to block the president from taking further military action is set for the house today. They want congress to approve if it passes it goes to the senate. With the loss of those two Republicans -- It could be razor thin.
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