Biden: I don't give Trump 'benefit of the doubt' on Soleimani claim

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE said Tuesday that he does not give President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE the “benefit of the doubt” on his claim that the strike against Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was necessary because of an “imminent” threat. 

“Well, it could be true, but I don’t give the benefit of the doubt because he’s lied so much about virtually everything,” Biden told Lester Holt on “NBC Nightly News.” 

The former vice president also said the Trump administration’s strike that resulted in Soleimani’s death “takes us a heck of a lot closer to war.” 


The president authorized the strike, which killed Soleimani at the Baghdad airport in Iraq, last week. 

Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo: US response to Floyd protests a ‘stark contrast’ to authoritarian regimes Trump administration accuses international court of corruption at ‘highest levels,’ authorizes sanctions A crisis on the Korean peninsula reinforces the need for allies MORE, have backed up the president’s decision, saying an attack on Americans was stopped by the strike. But officials have not revealed what intelligence hinted at the “imminent” attack.

Iran has reacted by promising retaliation against the U.S. for the general’s death. Trump responded by saying the U.S. is prepared to hit 52 Iranian sites, symbolizing the 52 hostages taken in the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979.

Soleimani’s death has worsened an already strained relationship with Iran after Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and the U.S. imposed sanctions on the country.

Holt’s full interview with Biden is set to air on “NBC Nightly News” on Tuesday evening.

Updated at 6:07 p.m.

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