Trump boasts of Soleimani killing in State of Union address, as Pelosi destroys president's speech

Trump boasts of Soleimani killing in State of Union address, as Pelosi destroys president's speech
Trump chose his third State of Union address to talk about the US killing of Qasem Soleimani.
3 min read
05 February, 2020
Pelosi tore up the speech [Getty]
US President Donald Trump boasted about the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani during his third State of Union address, as the embattled leader fights an impeachment hearing led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

In a movement of fury, Pelosi tore up her copy of Trump's address, which came after the US president refused to shake her hand amid his upcoming acquittal on dealing with a foreign power.

The US president delivered the address on the eve of his expected acquittal in the US senate, where he talked of the late American Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Hake, who had been killed in Iraq on Easter Sunday in 2008.

"The terrorist responsible for killing Sergeant Hake was Qasem Soleimani," he told the hall, along with the sergeant's widow and child.

Read More: 'Nobody resembles him but Assad': Syrians celebrate death of Soleimani

"[He] provided the deadly roadside bomb that took Chris' life. Soleimani was the Iranian regime's most ruthless butcher, a monster who murdered or wounded thousands of American service members in Iraq," he went on, before he spoke of how the general died.

"That is why, last month, at my direction, the United States military executed a flawless precision strike that killed Soleimani and terminated his evil reign of terror forever," he said, speaking about an act that frosted already strained relations between Tehran and Washington.

Iran had retaliated to the killing by attacking two Iraqi military bases housing US troop. Trump initially said no troops were injured in the bombing, however the department of defence later announced dozens of US soldiers had been diagnosed with brain injuries.

During his speech, Trump spoke of the parents of Kayla Mueller, an American aid worker who was kidnapped and imprisoned by the now-deceased Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

"In 2013, while caring for suffering civilians in Syria, Kayla was kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved by ISIS, and kept as a prisoner of Al-Baghdadi himself. After more than 500 horrifying days of captivity, Al-Baghdadi murdered young Kayla," Trump said after recognising Carl and Marsha Mueller. "She was just 26 years old," he said.

He went on to celebrate the night US Special Forces carried out a mission that led to his death.

"Today, the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed, and the founder and leader of ISIS - the bloodthirsty killer al‑Baghdadi - is dead!" Trump said.

Tensions between Iran and the US skyrocketed after the death of Soleimani, and on Wednesday Iran said it intends to execute a man accused of working as a CIA spy.

Amir Rahimpour, an Iranian national, was found guilty of transmitting information regarding Iran's nuclear programme to the US intelligence agency.

After the announcement of the alleged spy ring bust, Trump dismissed Iran’s claims as "totally false".

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